The Federation of European Accountants (FEE) issued a policy statement on XBRL. The six page policy statement titled eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) - The impact on accountants and auditors can be found here on the Web.
The policy statement goes further than anything else that I have seen coming out of the accounting community in saying that accountants are going to have to understand XBRL. I agree with these statements. The FEE states
There are two pillars to XBRL: an IT literacy pillar and a technical accounting and auditing pillar. Organisations wishing to adopt XBRL will need to consider both pillars in establishing their training needs to ensure successful use of XBRL.
The FEE also points out key areas for training for accountants, identifying necessary skills required including:
- Select the appropriate taxonomy and download from the appropriate web page;
- Identify taxonomy elements required for any particular instance;
- Identify when a valid taxonomy extension is required;
- Create valid extensions; and
- Create valid instance documents in line with the appropriate specification or user guide.
If you are an accountant anywhere in the world, particularly if you practice in the area of public accounting, you definitely want to take a look at this policy statement as a clue of what is coming down the road in the world of accounting and financial reporting.