Half of senior finance executives unaware of XBRL, survey finds

Source: Grant Thornton

Nearly one-half of senior finance executives are not aware of the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), a technology that provides a standard form of communication in both internal and external reporting of financial information; and nine in 10 believe that the accounting profession has not adequately communicated the benefits of XBRL for internal as well as external financial reporting, according to a national survey conducted by Grant Thornton LLP.

"This survey was taken during the last part of August 2006, just before the recent major announcements from the SEC demonstrating it's commitment to Interactive Data," said Dan Roberts, chairman of the XBRL-US Steering Committee and the national director of assurance innovation at Grant Thornton. "We expect a rapid increase in both knowledge and understanding of the benefits of XBRL over the coming year. With the ability to provide an XBRL version of a company's earning release for rapid consumption by users of that information, we also project a rapid uptake in use of XBRL by reporting companies."

Specific Findings

  • Are you aware of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), the new standard for tagged business information?
    Yes - 53.70%>br>No - 46.30%
  • Has the accounting industry adequately communicated the benefits of XBRL for internal as well as external financial reporting?
    Yes - 8.60%
    No - 91.40%
  • Do you think Chairman Cox's focus on Interactive Data (the SEC's code word for XBRL) will result in XBRL becoming a mandatory format for SEC filings?
    Yes - 52.45%
    No - 47.55%

    About the Survey
    Commissioned by Grant Thornton LLP, the survey was conducted during the last week in August 2006, with responses from 381 senior finance executives at public and private companies.
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