The International Journal of Digital Accounting Research (IJDAR) has published an article by María Mora Rodríguez and I titled Digitizing Financial Reports – Issues and Insights: A Viewpoint. This is an abstract of the article:
The era of digital financial reporting has arrived. However, many questions persist relating to how digital financial reporting will actually work and what is necessary to make it work appropriately. Technologies such as XBRL must be well understood in order to harness their power. This paper is intended to provide a thought-provoking summary of the moving pieces that must be considered by accountants and other business professionals when evaluating how digital financial reporting will be best employed for financial reporting. The paper is intended to help these business professionals understand the issues related to digitizing financial reports and maximize the potential contribution the accounting profession can make to the achievement of successful and appropriate digital financial reporting. The end result will be well-thought-out digital financial reporting. Any expression of digital financial reports must be in a form that business people understand because they are the ones who create these reports and verify that they are a sensible, logical, faithful, true and fair representation of the reporting entity’s financial information. The XBRL taxonomies have been the most serious effort thus far to formalize the business rules in XBRL implementations. The XBRL technical syntax interoperability is very good, but the semantics is still a challenge. To face this, effective communication between accounting professionals and IT professionals is key.
Digital financial reporting is not only inevitable, it is imminent. We hope accountants find this article useful in understanding why their participation in digitizing financial reports is crucial.