8th July 2011
Following the introduction of iXBRL in the UK there is widespread debate about the costs of introducing XBRL and who should pay for it. Accountants in practice in the UK who have born the brunt of introducing this regulatory inspired change will need some convincing that XBRL is a force for good. But the global picture is very different and now that XBRL is broadly bedded-in across a number of geographies there is a significant global push to convince corporates that XBRL is more than a regulatory expedient. The next phase is to demonstrate that XBRL ‘inside the enterprise’ can yield significant benefits in terms of democratization of data, the ability to share information, benchmarking of performance and business analytics. There are also potential benefits in terms of process improvement through the reporting supply chain. However, in their enthusiasm to promote these advantages the evangelists need to be careful not to over-hype the benefits and get too far ahead of what business applications and other software tools can deliver. Over egging the advantages at this early stage could be counter-productive if nobody can deliver.