MIT's project ConceptNet 5 helps one grasp where digital financial reported is headed. The web site describes Concept5 as:
ConceptNet is a semantic network containing lots of things computers should know about the world, especially when understanding text written by people.
It is built from nodes representing concepts, in the form of words or short phrases of natural language, and labeled relationships between them. These are the kinds of things computers need to know to search for information better, answer questions, and understand people's goals. If you wanted to build your own Watson, this should be a good place to start!
Imagine a similar semantic network for financial reporting. Rather than people having to put things together, computers can put things together for you and you use the result.
Go look at two things which I have provided and then go read about ConceptNet 5 again:
Imagine a "Watson" type system for helping accountants create financial reports or for analyzing financial reports.
These ideas are by no means limited to financial reporting. In fact, the really cool thing is that pretty soon it will be easy for business users to create their own "Watson"-type systems for performing all sorts of tasks.
Financial reporting is blazing a trail on the semantic web as I see it. There will be lots of cross over to numerous other domains within business.