Prof. Jayanth R. Varma’s Financial Markets Blog

A blog on financial markets and their regulation

XBRL and Financial Statement Preparation

I wrote an article for CFO Connect about the use of (eXtensible
Business Reporting Language (XBRL) in the preparation of financial
statements rather than just for their dissemination and
analysis. Scanned image is available here.

Financial analysts have begun to love XBRL and the US SEC is also
now pushing companies to use XBRL in their Edgar filings. Companies
however tend to think of this as another investor relations expense
rather than as a productivity tool for themselves as preparers of
financial statements. I argue on the other hand that it is high time
that we got rid of all those spreadsheets and word processor files and
used XBRL to automate the process completely and integrate it
completely with the corporate ERP systems. This would improve
reliability, increase speed and reduce manual interventions.

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