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XBRL-based reports are coming soon to a bank near you

A steering committee has been formed to promote XBRL, a new standared computer language. The group includes such financial, software and government powerhouses as Microsoft, Bank of America, the FDIC, and IBM.
XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) is an XML-based language currently in development that will provide a common platform for various types of business information-such as the preparation, sharing and analysis of financial reports, statements and audit schedules.

In simple terms, XBRL will give greater access through various software and technology to regulatory reports and financial statements, among other documents.

XBRL-created financial statements will facilitate data functions that currently are often manual, repetitive and error prone. For example, a statement may need to be modified for use in a Web publication as well as a separate printed version. XBRL will automate previously time-consuming data extraction processes and eliminate the need to re-key data. The standard also will make it easier for banks to communicate with regulators.

In the future, XBRL may provide a standardized framework and integrated methodology for the preparation and publication of reports, as well as a consistent, automated process for the reliable extraction and exchange of financial statements, according to industry experts. XBRL is an XML-based, royalty-free, and open standard being developed by a consortium of over 170 companies and agencies, delivering benefits to investors, accountants, regulators, financial analysts and information providers.

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