XBRL Offers an Easy Way to Tap Online Financial Data
Wall Street Journal Online (08/04/00) Vol. 2, No. 5 p.3B; Burns, Judith

A business consortium has released specifications that will aid U.S. companies ready to begin using extensible business reporting language, known as XBRL. XBRL will make life easier for everyone who comes into contact with financial reports, from those preparing them to those sifting through them. XBRL cuts through the clutter, eliminating the tedious grunt work of financial reporting, and saving corporations time and money. It does this through the concept of "create once and render many," explains Louis Matherne, information technology director at AICPA, which is part of the consortium that issued the specifications. XBRL allows companies to create a single document capable of quick and easy conversion to many different formats, from annual reports to postings on Web sites to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, putting the focus where it should be--on content, not formatting. The technology will make corporate data much easier to find online, and it will also make it simple to compare financial reports of two companies.

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