Columbia Business School defends XBRL

Following ‘attempt to destroy’ XBRL, improvement needed to taxonomy and data quality.

Trevor Harris and Suzanne Morsfield of the Columbia Business School report that some have questioned the usefulness of XBRL data and are ‘attempting to destroy the SEC’s XBRL regulations.’ XBRL has succeeded in providing users with free, interactively-available data as soon as it is filed. But its use and development could be improved. The authors recommend that filers, regulators, and developers focus on the data’s reliability and on value-added end user tools. Also, the FASB and SEC need to work on simplifying XBRL’s taxonomy. Filers should direct their energy on improving the quality of their own data rather than on bashing the SEC.

Also, XBRL needs to be taken over and run by technologists rather than accountants. This could be done through a partnering with the vendors such as IBM, Oracle and SAP and the web-based financial information suppliers and aggregators. Read the Columbia report here.

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