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The Transition to XBRL Reporting: A Journey Well Worth Taking

May Sau / 01 May 2014

The Transition to XBRL Reporting

Driven by the demand for the more accurate and efficient reporting of business information, governments, firms and other organizations are increasingly turning to eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). Fairly rapid adoption on a global scale has created a significant need for a basic understanding of the fundamentals of XBRL. This need will only increase with continued adoption.

As the momentum behind XBRL adoption continues to increase, the issue of data quality has moved to the forefront. While software is available and should be used to verify XBRL tagged data, filers and consumers should not rely completely on software. According to Mike Schlanger, Vice President of XBRL Business Development and Strategy for Merrill Disclosure Solutions, there are still a significant number of items in an XBRL filing that cannot be checked by software. It is important to have knowledgeable professionals in place to optimize the reliability and accuracy of data handling. XBRL training is the first step towards having these competencies in place.

A 2011 survey by XBRL International (XII) polled 445 XBRL professionals from different regions around the world about their view on the value of certification. The findings show that a majority felt that as companies begin to implement XBRL, it was beneficial to have in-house professionals with a basic XBRL knowledge.

The benefits are driven by three factors:

  • The perceived value of XBRL certification from various stakeholders impacted by XBRL.
  • The need for trained personnel to ensure timely and accurate reporting.
  • The trend towards building in-house XBRL competency (either to replace or augment outsourced expertise).

To read more, download my report on the Value of XBRL Certification. The report addresses the perceived value of XBRL training from the perspective of industry stakeholders, with both anecdotal and quantitative evidence supporting the fact that the vast majority recognize the need for training for professionals and organizations alike.

If you would like more inspiration, check out this video on XBRL Foundation Training: Better Results, Less Risk

You can also join XII at the 2014 XBRL International Conference in Orlando for thought leadership, best-practice, and working sessions on government and regulatory reporting, Standardized Business Reporting (SBR), corporate actions processing and corporate financial data. Learn how structured data has made policy makers, accountants and investors, worldwide, successful at making governments accountable, enhancing transparency and efficiency, and using complex data to make better decisions. Register and receive 30% off the Foundation eLearning course.

Need more information? Please contact ITpreneurs.

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