XBRL Examined in Plain-Speak English

A new August 2000 Journal of Accountancy article written by Colorado CPA Wayne Harding, formerly with Great Plains, and Stanley Zarowin, a member of the JOA staff, examine XBRL and its applications to various accounting scenarios.

In summary, Zarowin and Harding conclude that:

  • XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, will be the standard for all business reporting; the authors believe the process will be truly revolutionary.

  • The software to enable XBRL will be built into the majority of all financial and reporting software.

  • The software will seamlessly translate all business information, including numbers and words, so each segment of data is identified when viewed by a Web browser or when used in a spreadsheet.

  • Regardless of the size or scope of the organization, using XBRL will increase efficiency because the process increases access to data and makes it easier to use.

  • Process and calculation time decreases because the data can be used over and over without rekeying any information again.

  • Opportunities will expand for the accounting profession based on increased abilities.

  • It's free to the end user!

For more information, visit the XBRL Home Page.

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