A common decision facing organizations implementing information technology (IT) systems for business reportingĀ is the selection of the appropriate technology standard to represent the information being reported. This discussion frequently focuses on whether to develop customized software using Extensible Markup Language (XML), or whether the project would benefit from the additional richness of information that can be expressed by using the freely available open standard Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). XBRL is an application of XML using W3C1 standards to provide not only a vocabulary for business reporting but also a means of unambiguously representing the semantics, or meaning, of the information being reported.

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