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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Field Report: MIX Proves XBRL Handles More than Statutory Reporting

Most people who have heard of Extensible Business Reporting Language
(XBRL) associate it with regulatory submissions. U.S.-based public
companies have the option of filing XBRL-tagged results with the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but it is used more
intensively elsewhere. For example, XBRL is now mandatory for companies
listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (among others), and banks now
routinely use XBRL to file financial reports with the U.S. Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Bank of Japan and other
oversight bodies. XBRL has the potential to be even more useful than
this, particularly since the "extensible" aspect of the language
means that any organization can create its own taxonomy to collect
any kind of information. One organization that is pulling in both
standard accounting information and other performance metrics is the
Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX). MIX uses a microfinance-specific
version of the International Financial Reporting System (IFRS) taxonomy,
so the accounting data adheres to a broadly supported standard. And
because XBRL is extensible, it enables MIX to add its own taxonomy for
social reporting metrics. Extensibility facilitates the evolution of
the information MIX collects and allows it to make apples-to-apples
comparisons over time. MIX is in the final stages of system development
and will open its XBRL-enabled system to participating institutions
soon. MIX is an early example of how organizations other than financial
regulators will use XBRL to manage the exchange of data among multiple
entities (corporations, nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations and
others). This is especially true because XBRL allows the data collection
process to have low overhead and take a lowest-common-denominator
approach. More Information See also the XBRL FAQ document: Click Here

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