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What CFO and we need to Know about XBRL ?

Posted on March 28th, 2008 by Sanjit Anand |Print This Post Print This Post |Email This Post Email This Post

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While researching more on XBRL, I came across a nice site had extended list of question about XBRL, thought to bring this to everyone in Oracle Community.

  1. Why should I care about XBRL?
  2. What is XBRL?
  3. Why should I learn about XBRL?
  4. What is different about my financial reports now and using XBRL?
  5. Why is the SEC involved with XBRL?
  6. Is the SEC going to require my financial statements (and other filings) in XBRL format?
  7. If so, when do you anticipate the SEC mandating XBRL?
  8. Who is using XBRL today?
  9. Why are they using this technology?
  10. What is a taxonomy?
  11. Are taxonomies country specific? Industry specific? Company specific?
  12. Does my company need to develop its own taxonomy? If so, is this proprietary information?
  13. What skills are required to create an XBRL filing?
  14. It seems like the costs and burden of using XBRL are on the shoulders of financial report preparers, while all the benefits go to regulators and investors, which seems unfair. Is this the case?
  15. What will it cost me to implement XBRL?
  16. Does XBRL work? How do you know?
  17. It seems like XBRL will be just another boon for consultants whom we have to hire to help us get the financial information into XBRL. Is that the case?
  18. Is XBRL the only thing I will have to file, or will I continue to submit the current EDGAR type filings?
  19. Clearly, XBRL is new and certain things will likely need to change with regard to financial reporting. What will need to change relating to financial reporting?
  20. Are private companies going to have to use XBRL?
  21. How will XBRL be audited?
  22. What are the risks of moving to required filings to the SEC in XBRL and how are those risks being mitigated?
  23. What are the benefits of adopting XBRL before the SEC requires it? What are the reasons not to adopt XBRL before the SEC requires it?
  24. Is the public accounting profession ready for XBRL if it is mandated?
  25. The adoption of XBRL will be a move from a "paper-based" reporting scheme, which is unstructured for the most part, to an "XBRL-based" reporting scheme, which uses structured information. That has got to cause some sort of impact on financial reporting, it seems. What will the impact be?
  26. What impact will XBRL have on BI (Business Intelligence)?
  27. How do I get started? How do I try XBRL?

Charlie co-author of the site , nicely answered these 27 questions in his 17 page documents.

Read this

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Posted in XBRL | 1 Comment »Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

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One Response
  1. FR Expander Says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Mr.Hoffman is the original founder of XBRL, and although “What CFOs need to know about XBRL” is not an official document,it is always interested to hear from the founder.

    One thing to note is that Mr. Hoffman is only addressing the use of XBRL for Financial Reporting in this FAQ. Seeing that this is posted under Oracle General Ledger, another series of FAQs – related to XBRL’s Global Ledger (XBRL GL) – may also be relevant to CFOs. Unlike Mr. Hoffman’s document, it is an official XBRL document and can be found at http://www.xbrl.org/GLWGNotes/XBRL-GL-WGN-FAQ-2007-08-01.htm. That content includes:

    XBRL GL Basics………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
    1. What is XBRL GL?……………………………………………………………………………………. 4
    2. Why is XBRL GL needed? Aren’t there other standards out there?…………………. 4
    3. Why do you call it the “Global Ledger Framework”?…………………………………….. 5
    4. Why is it called “GL” if it isn’t “General Ledger”?………………………………………….. 5
    5. What can XBRL GL be used for?………………………………………………………………… 5
    6. Can/should XBRL GL be used to represent transactions?……………………………… 5
    7. What is the status of XBRL GL? Is it done?…………………………………………………. 6
    8. Who is using XBRL GL?……………………………………………………………………………. 6
    Technical issues………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
    9. What software supports XBRL GL?…………………………………………………………….. 6
    10. Doesn’t XBRL GL create really big files?……………………………………………………… 6
    11. What is the difference between XBRL GL and “normal” XBRL?……………………….. 7
    12. Why is context not relevant in XBRL GL?……………………………………………………. 7
    13. What background do I need to have to understand XBRL GL?……………………….. 7
    14. Where can I learn about XBRL GL?…………………………………………………………….. 7
    15. What competitors does XBRL GL have?……………………………………………………… 9
    16. Do I require an XBRL compatible data storage system?……………………………….. 9
    17. Can I implement a single XBRL environment, for internal and external reporting? 9
    18. Can I use Formulas in XBRL GL?……………………………………………………………….. 9
    Implementation and Use………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
    19. How hard is it to customize XBRL GL?………………………………………………………… 9
    20. How much does XBRL GL cost?………………………………………………………………… 9
    21. How much does an XBRL GL implementation cost?…………………………………… 10
    22. What are the challenges of implementing XBRL GL?………………………………….. 10
    23. Does the flexibility of XBRL GL make it difficult to implement it?………………….. 10
    24. Is it necessary to change existing systems to implement XBRL GL?……………. 10
    25. Who can benefit from XBRL GL? Is it just for big corporations?……………………. 10
    26. Do I need to start with XBRL FR and then move on to XBRL GL?………………….. 10
    27. I am a company. How do I start implementing XBRL GL?……………………………. 11
    28. I am a software developer. How do I add XBRL GL to my software?……………… 11
    29. I am a regulator, or an analyst, or an investor. Why should I care about XBRL GL?.. 11
    30. I am an accountant/auditor. Is XBRL GL relevant to me? Where should I start? 11
    31. Does developing XBRL GL take away resources from developing XBRL more broadly? 11
    32. What is the XBRL GL Philosophy?…………………………………………………………….. 11
    33. What are palettes? Why would I use one over another?…………………………….. 11
    Internationalization issues………………………………………………………………………………………. 12
    34. Some of our subsidiaries operate in local languages. How can XBRL GL facilitate reporting in multiple languages?………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
    35. Our subsidiaries operate in different countries with different GAAP/accounting rules. Can XBRL GL help us? 12
    36. We are considering using International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for our consolidated reports. Can XBRL GL be helpful in migrating to that standard?……………………………………………… 12
    37. Can XBRL GL help with US GAAP/IFRS convergence?………………………………….. 12
    38. Can XBRL GL “Co-habitat” with XBRL FR?…………………………………………………… 12
    Other XBRL GL Applications……………………………………………………………………………………… 13
    39. Is XBRL GL primarily about accounting information leading to the financial statement? Can XBRL GL help with operational reporting, benchmarking, balanced scorecard, etc.?…………………………. 13
    40. Can XBRL GL add efficiency to the data collection process for sustainability (“corporate citizenship”) reporting?…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13
    41. How can XBRL GL help me identify potential fraud?……………………………………. 13

    I highly recommend this document; the concepts are not included in Mr. Hoffman’s.

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