Deloitte trials XBRL financial reporting standard

Report processing times drop by up to 70 percent

Professional services firm Deloitte announced today it is launching a production pilot this week of XBRL based solutions to prepare financial reports for a number of middle market clients.

The CEO of Deloitte Digital, Peter Williams, said the XBRL based solutions now in development will deliver huge cost savings for business, regulators and government by eliminating the repetition when reporting the same information more than once.

"It's a big pilot but we need scale to convince our stakeholders that this is a worthwhile investment," Williams said.

"We needed to almost get in 'harms way' by testing just how far XBRL can revolutionise the way the financial reporting community use financial information.

"Obviously Deloitte is a big consumer of financial information ourselves and this is a significant challenge but one we're convinced will generate huge efficiency in the market."

The Deloitte pilot is a practical demonstration of the type of improvements that will be possible from Standard Business Reporting, which was recently announced by the Treasurer, Peter Costello.

XBRL or eXtensible Business Reporting Language is a globally accepted data standard for financial reporting.

Deloitte is using the standard and developed a suite of applications which businesses can use in future to share business and financial related information with regulators, banks and other organisations.

"Deloitte's initial prototype testing of XBRL applications indicated processing time for the preparation of financial reports and regulatory returns could be reduced by up to 70 percent," Williams said.

Although XBRL's been around since the late 1990's, Deloitte has been a leader locally in applying this standard for financial reporting by developing tools to produce financial reports.

"Often businesses create the information once and report it many times over. However with XBRL based reporting, once the information is standardised at the data level it can then be reused an infinite amount of time," Williams said.

"It will deliver one source of truth, accurate at all times which can be cut and diced according to business and government reporting needs.

"This will lead to reduced effort, lower preparation costs and improved interaction with government."

Williams said Deloitte share the federal government's Standard Business Reporting vision for business and government to more efficient when dealing with replicated information.

"With the cooperation of business, government, software developers and intermediaries, the Standard Business Reporting project will deliver significant savings to business by standardising the use and application of financial information," he said.

"Deloitte is using emerging technology that will deliver Web-based financial report information to business and government.

"In time, as this technology matures the interaction between business and government will be made easier by eliminating the need to report more than once and replicating tailored financial information according to reporting requirements."

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