Who benefits from the introduction of xbrl?
1. The Regulator: When the Parliament asks the regulator to produce sensible documents, currently they do not. Not that they produce it after a time lag, they just do not have it! The regulator has millions of tons of pdf documents and hard copies – in an unclassified manner making it impossible for them to wade through. So they wait for the question to die. Simple.
2. Research analysts: people who use data will suddenly get accurate and clean data. If there is (was) a mistake – say in the schedules vs. the balance sheet, xbrl will throw up such inconsistencies IMMEDIATELY. (see the Iris report on this)
3. Companies, and Auditors: Once the accounts of many companies are in xbrl format right at the transaction level, audit trails will be very easy to prepare and can be called for as a report. Will dramatically make the life of an auditor easy. However I heard and said this even when Tax Audit was introduced – and I am really not sure about the impact 🙂
4. People who aggregate and sell data (read Reuters, www.myiris.com, Bloomberg…) – especially if they were now doing some cleaning up (obviously they must have been doing this na?).
5. Lastly but not the least – the professionals connected with xbrl in some form or the other – creating taxonomy, tools, audit checklist..etc.
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