New York: Setting a new standard for the way corporate America reports financial information and data, the Nasdaq Stock Market, Microsoft Corp and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have teamed up to demonstrate the power of XBRL (extensible business reporting language), a new platform developed for corporate reporting over the Internet. The three organisations have joined forces on a pilot programme to showcase XBRL's ability to provide companies with an easier means to communicate financial information and deliver it to investors with enhanced capability to analyse data. The pilot programme, designed by PwC and stored on Nasdaq hardware, provides access to XBRL data through Microsoft Office. It is available to the public at www.nasdaq.com/xbrl.
Nasdaq, a key driver of capital formation, is the first stock market to recognise the value of XBRL. "Nasdaq is committed to increasing transparency for investors, which ultimately will help restore investor trust in the quality and integrity of the information that fuels the markets," says Nasdaq vice-chairman Alfred Berkeley. "The widespread adoption of XBRL technology will mean corporations and investors alike will reap the benefits of a simpler process for issuing financial reports and making investment decisions."
Based on Extensible Markup Language or XML, the universal format for data on the Web, XBRL streamlines the way companies report and publish their financial data, and how analysts and investors can review that information. For example, before XBRL, investors would need to pore through numerous reports and precisely program their computers to recognise any given value from a financial statement. With XBRL, data is tagged to instruct the system how to handle the data in question and enables the user to locate the necessary information without leafing through multiple-numerous financial reports.
XBRL was founded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to benefit the entire business reporting supply chain, including CPAs, by improving access to financial information and decreasing costs associated with the distribution of financial information.
The pilot programme will provide investors with remote access to financial data from the financial reports of 21 Nasdaq-listed companies starting with a company's most recent financials and going back five years.
The data, which will be formatted in XBRL and will be publicly available via a Nasdaq-hosted Web Service, will showcase XBRL's ability to allow for easy comparisons of the financials of companies within a particular industry, like semiconductors. This data is accessible through the familiar interface of Microsoft Excel via a custom solution built by Dell Professional Services. It does not require investors or analysts to manually retrieve the data from individual financial documents.
"The challenge in the financial industry is enabling information workers to analyse industry data in a timely fashion and gain competitive advantage for their organisations," says Microsoft group vice-president (productivity and business services) Jeff Raikes. "Our teamwork with Nasdaq and PwC will enable easy access and analysis of this XBRL information using Microsoft Excel."
Mike Willis, founding chairman of XBRL International, a non-profit industry consortium, and a partner at PwC, says: "By reducing the time and cost of obtaining and using information, XBRL will greatly enhance the ability of companies and investors to produce and analyse information. This pilot demonstrates the advantages of using technology to transform the corporate reporting supply chain for the benefit of all participants. XBRL will lead to improved investor access and dramatically increase the speed at which investors can obtain information for their own analysis."
Financial information from the following Nasdaq-listed companies has been included in this pilot: Intel Corporation, Maxim Integrated Products, Xilinx; Linear Technology, Broadcom Corp, NVIDIA, Altera, Microchip Technology, Marvel Technology Group, QLogic Corp, Atmel Corp, Intersil Corp, Integrated Device Technology, Conexant Systems, RF Micro Devices, Applied Micro Circuits, Semtech Corp, Lattice Semiconductor Corp, Micrel, Vitesse Semiconductor Corp, and Microsoft Corporation. Nasdaq will be actively recruiting Nasdaq-listed companies to participate in the pilot programme in the future.