London, UK (PRWEB) August 27, 2004
Much is being written about the introduction of XBRL into the regulatory reporting arena, often likening it to another Y2K scale of issue requiring hundreds of consultants, new software solutions and technical expertise. Some vendors claim it is an issue that internal auditors and compliance managers will find difficult to understand. So should financial institutions be worried about the planned introduction of XBRL by the FSA over the next several years?
STBÂs customers certainly donÂt need armies of people, technical experts or expensive new software. STBÂs core technology is ready and waiting for the introduction of XBRL, and customers will receive FREE upgrades of their STB-Reporter solution as and when the FSA commences this new style of reporting (which will be at different times for different types of regulated firm).
Group CEO Michael Thomas states, ÂThere will inevitably be some different information that needs to be mapped and processed from source systems into the XBRL format, as the FSA is only going to introduce XBRL alongside planned changes in the underlying reporting requirement. However, that is what STB is already performing for some 140 regulated firms in the UK alone, so the additional changes can readily be accommodated. As regards the introduction of XBRL itself, customers should have no worries at all.Â
ÂSTB will provide the structured outputs needed by the regulator as a standard upgrade of our products. We are already an Approved Vendor for provision of data to the regulators and intend to remain just that. Also, we already have experience of implementing XML, which is now required by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, so we know the scale of the task we are looking at, and it really isnÂt something that is concerning us or our customers.Â
XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. It is one of a family of "XML" languages which is becoming a standard means of communicating information between businesses and on the internet. It is an open standard. The idea behind XBRL is simple, nothing new and based on technology that STB Systems has been dealing with since 1996 when the http://www.W3c.org issued its first draft of the XML specifications (XML itself being based on SGML which has been familiar to STB since 1986). Instead of treating financial information as a block of text, as in a standard internet page or a printed document, it provides an identifying tag for each individual item of data. This is computer readable. For example, Âcompany net profitÂ has its own unique tag.
The introduction of XBRL tags enables automated processing of business information by computer software, cutting out laborious and costly processes of manual re-entry and comparison. Computers can treat XBRL data "intelligently;" they can recognise the information in a XBRL document, select it, analyse it, store it, exchange it with other computers and present it automatically in a variety of ways for users. XBRL greatly increases the speed of handling of financial data, reduces the chance of error and permits automatic checking of information. XBRL can handle data in different languages and accounting standards. It is already being put to practical use in a number of countries and implementations of XBRL are growing rapidly around the world.
Why do the Regulators want XBRL? By introducing XBRL for reporting, regulators and other authorities can:
*Obtain data which can be entered automatically into systems without rekeying, reformatting or other "translation" effort.
*Dramatically reduce costs by automating routine tasks.
*Quickly and automatically identify problems with filings.
*Analyse and compare data much more quickly, efficiently and reliably.
*Benefit from the use of software in validation and analysis.
*Monitor data and activities and reach judgments with far greater speed and confidence.
*Focus effort on analysis, decision-making and dealing with counterparties rather than on data manipulation.
*Provide a much faster and focused response to counterparties.
*Promote efficiencies and cost savings throughout the regulatory filing process.
For further information on XBRL readers may wish to visit http://www.xbrl.org
About STB Systems
STB is one of the world's leading vendors of automated compliance reporting solutions for the financial markets. Founded in 1984, STB has offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. STB's solutions are designed to automate the critical controls that protect financial institutions, handling internal and external reporting to satisfy the relevant regulatory bodies and assist in compliance with anti money laundering procedures. The company is one of just five recognised by the Bank of England for electronic reporting and works closely with many other respected industry bodies. STB's core competence puts them at the forefront of regulatory and compliance technologies, offering best of breed solutions for their customers.
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