XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) is a platform-independent standard based on XML that permits the automatic exchange and extraction of financial data across the Internet. XBRL helps eliminate the need to re-key or cut and paste financial data, putting business report information into a single format that can be used for a variety of purposes.
With much of todays financial data locked in proprietary formats, such as plain text documents, spreadsheets and HTML, XBRL provides the analyst and investor community an efficient way to analyze financial information.
As organizations struggle to obey the demands of regulatory agencies in a post-Sarbanes-Oxley environment, XBRL is becoming increasingly popular as a tool to aid with compliance. Some analysts view the adoption of XBRL standards as inevitable. Approximately 40 regulators in nine countries have already adopted XBRL for reporting purposes.
XBRL-enabled documents, such as earnings releases and financial statements, will be able to be sent directly to PR Newswire for distribution via a built-in interface within Dragon Tag that links to PRN Direct, PR Newswires secure customer extranet. The Dragon Tag XBRL enabler is a Microsoft Office-based solution that allows users to convert financial statements to XBRL documents.
The partnership with Rivet makes PR Newswire the first commercial newswire to offer an off-the-shelf XBRL document creation solution. Established in 1954, PR Newswire has offices in 11 countries and routinely sends its customers news to outlets in 135 countries and in 30 languages.
"We strongly believe that XBRL has the potential to vastly improve the transparency of financial information and we are pleased to be doing our part in making this a reality," said Dave Armon, chief operating officer of PR Newswire, in a statement. "Our partnership with Rivet and the Dragon Tag application gives our customers the head start they need. At the same time, by distributing XBRL documents as widely as possible through PR Newswires secure and credible distribution system, we will be able to help our members take a leadership role in promoting greater transparency and the spirit of disclosure."
The partnership is expected to help companies considering participation in the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commissions XBRL Voluntary Financial Reporting Program. The voluntary program will assess how XBRL benefits the submission process for U.S. public companies sending financial information to the SEC.
"As regulators around the globe drive toward standardization of XBRL, accounting and finance professionals are searching for help in the creation of XBRL reports and in keeping compliant with the new and highly complex standard," explained Michael Rohan, president of Rivet Software. "Dragon Tag is the first user-friendly XBRL solution to ease the complexity, making document tagging as easy as using Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word."
The Dragon Tag application supports the latest XBRL Specification (2.1) and XBRL taxonomies such as U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards). It uses "drag and drop" functionality, which allows users to associate XBRL information to existing financial data. Dragon Tags review and validation features help ensure accuracy prior to submitting or releasing XBRL documents.
Both Rivet Software and PR Newswire are active members of XBRL International, an international non-profit consortium of more than 250 companies, organizations and government agencies responsible for developing and maintaining XBRL, and promoting its global adoption.