Like the room on the 7 ½ floor in Being John Malkovich, or Platform 9 ¾ in the Harry Potter movies, eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) – a system of electronically tagged data - has been viewed as a portal into the world of financial reporting. Public companies are required to file certain information with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) using XBRL. As described in the SEC’s “What is Interactive Data and Who’s Using It?”: “Interactive data allows investors and others” – [read: regulators] “to pinpoint facts and figures within today’s often lengthy disclosure documents.”
A useful compendium of information pertaining to the SEC’s XBRL rulemaking, with links to related information such as Interpretations and Webcasts, can be found in the SEC’s own XBRL portal: http://xbrl.sec.gov.
What’s new with XBRL and the world of technology vis-a-vis financial reporting? Some recent developments and related stories can be
IMA Promotes XBRL as Basis for Integrated Reporting (Tammy Whitehouse, Jan. 20, 2012 in Hitachi’s Data
FEI CFIT files letter with Congress in support of DATA Act. On Jan. 30, 2012 FEI's Committee on Finance and Information Technology (CFIT) filed a letter with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in which CFIT expressed its support for HR 2146, the Digital Accountability and Transparency, or “DATA,” Act. Read more in the FEI CFIT letter, signed by Art Alderson, Chairman of FEI's CFIT Committee.
What CIOs Want from CFOs(by Martha Heller, president of Heller Search Associates, a CIO and senior IT executive
recruiting firm, and a contributing editor to CIO magazine; published in CFO.com 1/23/12)