The CFA Institute published a white paper titled eXtensible Business Reporting Language: A Guide for Investors. The paper is worth reading, it has a good executive summary. It also outlines five guiding principles which the CFA Institute believes how XBRL should be used in financial reporting. These are those five principles:
- Disclosure neutrality
- Limited extensibility
- Global initiative
- Open source
- Regulator cooperation
There are a lot of things I personally like about their five principles. There are some things I don't personally like. The BEST thing about there principles is that they are written down and it seems they will guide how the CFA Institutes pushes on XBRL and how XBRL is implemented for financial reporting.
But I do have a question. Where are the white papers for the preparer community (perhaps published by FEI), the public accounting profession (perhaps published by the AICPA in the US, or maybe the Big 4 audit firms), the software vendors (maybe the software vendors who are members of XBRL International can do this), and anyone else who wants to "push" on XBRL and how it will be used within financial reporting?
Seems to me like it is in the interest of a number of communities who are involved in financial reporting and care about this and that they should start communicating where they want things to go and start pushing in that direction. If they don't, how XBRL is used in financial reporting might not be what they desire.
I hear people complain that XBRL is too heavily influenced by CPAs. I also hear CPAs communicate different views of how to best use XBRL.
Or heck! Nothing prevents me from getting together with other CPAs I know and making our views known.