Friday, April 14, 2006

Infosys in SEC XBRL Project

Securities and Exchange Commission of United States has come out with a new way of financial statements reporting for the organization listed on the US stock exchanges. Now these days almost all websites have the facility of viewing the Annual Report in a very friendly format instead of downloading very large sized PDFs. Keeping in mind the latest trends in the XML, SEC has decided to do a pilot exercise which involves some of the best firms globally to submit their financial statements in what is called as the XBRL format.

There are close to 17 firms who have reportedly joined SEC in this exercise. It has big names like Microsoft and all together with an Indian name of Infosys. It is expected that these companies will help the agency in a big way to explore how new Internet based reporting technologies can improve the financial reporting process for investors, financial intermediaries, SEC, and the companies themselves.

This is another set of initiatives taken by the SEC Head Christopher Cox on the lines of ensuring a good corporate boards and governance. The firm who have been selected are leaders in the areas of this technology and hence will provide an ideal way to use this technology.

The pilot programme will simultaneously enable the companies to determine the benefits of using interactive data, provide feedback to SEC, and enable investors and analysts to assess new techniques for analyzing interactive data reports submitted to the agency in the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format.

Among the corporates that have joined the programme are 3M, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Microsoft Corporation, Mobile Reach International, Pfizer, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, South Financial Group, United Technologies Corporation, Xerox Corporation and XM Satellite Radio Holdings.

Meanwhile something about SBRL. XBRL is a language for the electronic communication of business and financial data which is revolutionising business reporting around the world. It provides major benefits in the preparation, analysis and communication of business information. It offers cost savings, greater efficiency and improved accuracy and reliability to all those involved in supplying or using financial data.

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. It is one of a family of "XML" languages which is becoming a standard means of communicating information between businesses and on the internet.

XBRL is being developed by an international non-profit consortium of approximately 450 major companies, organisations and government agencies. It is an open standard, free of licence fees. It is already being put to practical use in a number of countries and implementations of XBRL are growing rapidly around the world.

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