Announcing the Formation of the XBRL International Standards Board (XSB) and

appointment of Michael Ohata as XSB chair - Call for further Nominations


3 April 2006



In November 2005, the ISC (International Steering Committee) formed a subcommittee, chaired by John Turner, to consider the issues, process and governance that go into the production and maintenance of technical XBRL materials. At its 20-21 March 2006 face to face meeting in Washington DC, the ISC considered the final report of the subcommittee. Based on the recommendation of the subcommittee, the ISC decided to alter the way the consortium develops and maintains its technical work products.


The ISC will formally constitute the XBRL Standards Board (XSB) over the course of the next few months.


The formation of the XSB marks a milestone in the maturation of XBRL. XBRL adoption is accelerating rapidly and standards-setters, corporations, regulators, financial markets and the software vendors that serve them increasingly require that the technical materials produced by the consortium are both stable and of the highest quality.


The scope of the XSB is limited to the production of technical materials agreed by the International Steering Committee. XSB objectives include:



The XSB will be completely accountable to the ISC. While it will have the power to publish certain materials, the ISC will continue to be responsible for approving materials as Recommended, and the XSB will work to, and regularly report on, a plan agreed with the ISC.


The creation of the XSB should not be interpreted as a sign of specification change. The XSB will work to ensure the stability of XBRL, as one of the key criteria for success. In addition to finalising current XII projects such as versioning, formula, rendering and dimensions, the XSB will be responsible for managing XBRL International’s taxonomy recognition programme, working with vendors to improve interoperability by clarification and expansion of the conformance suites, and providing oversight and encouragement to the GL working group to ensure the adoption of this effort. The XSB will also direct the development of technical training and explanatory materials that foster adoption.


The ISC anticipates that the XSB will work with the community to review, as necessary, the current operations of the working groups. Short term working groups coordinated by the XSB will be formed to work on specific pieces of work in order to provide better focus and ensure completion on critical projects. Generally, the XSB will work to improve the manner in which the talented and resourceful volunteer members of the XBRL community work with XBRL International technical staff.


Call for XBRL International Standard Body Applicants


The ISC has appointed Michael Ohata, director at Microsoft Corporation and current ISC vice-chair of at large members, as the founding chair of the XSB. The Standards Board will consist of seven members appointed by the Steering Committee, and ideally each member will fill a specific competency-role to ensure a balanced perspective and a blend of skills. Members will include three technical architecture and two business reporting management experts, a product manager and one program manager. The XSB will report into the ISC (see chart below). In addition the XSB will be supported and assisted in daily operations by XBRL International staff.



The International Steering Committee seeks nominations for the open seats on the XBRL International Standards Board. Interested candidates should work with their ISC jurisdictional representative or contact an At-Large Member to identify their appropriate role / competency and formulate a statement of candidacy.  Statements are due by 1 May to Tracey Tarinelli, program manager XBRL International.  Applicants will be reviewed during the next face-to-face meeting of the ISC, to be held on 15 May, in Madrid, Spain, and candidate interviews conducted 16-30 May.


The targeted competency mix is:


All members must demonstrate a record of working in an international setting with clear competencies of teaming, technical judgment, negotiation, and strategic planning.


Interim XSB Governance


Effectively immediately, current active members of the Product Development Team (PDT), which includes representatives from the current Working Groups and the ISC, will fill and operate as the “Standards Board pro tem” to ensure effective transition as XSB members are appointed.  The Standards Board shall develop and publish criteria for the chartering of new Working Groups, such criteria to be approved by the ISC.  For more detail please see the sub-committee proposal.


While the XSB marks a certain necessary professionalisation of standard setting within the XBRL community, the real strength of the consortium is the passion, knowledge, commitment and collaboration of the volunteer community. If you are already a volunteer in one of the XBRL International working groups, please consider the formation of the XSB an opportunity to have your efforts better recognised. If you are not currently a volunteer, but would like to get involved, please take advantage of the many opportunities that the formation of the XSB will offer. No matter where you are in the world, getting involved in XBRL International’s activities and sharing your knowledge while learning from others is a rewarding effort. It is the best way to become expert in this exciting field.


Finally, please join me in recognizing and thanking all of you for the very real achievements of a very large number of volunteers, and for extraordinary results in terms of XBRL adoption and creation of taxonomies we can all celebrate.  The formation of the XBRL International Standards Board marks a milestone in the growth and maturity of our organization as we enable deeper adoption, understand worldwide requirements, and evolve a solution that works for all organizations and companies.



Kurt Ramin

Chair, XBRL International Steering Committee