More than half of internal auditors say they are not familiar with new technology that provides interactive data tags for financial statements, according to a new survey.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been pushing more public companies to file financial statements using Extensible Business Reporting Language by next year (see XBRL - The Benefits Are Clear but Challenges Remain). However, a survey by the Institute of Internal Auditors of more than 200 chief audit executives found that 51 percent said they don't have any XBRL knowledge at all, and 42 percent know only the very basics.

Only 8 percent of the respondents said their companies are currently filing financial reports in XBRL format, but more than 37 percent said this will happen in the next three years. Among the 29 respondents who indicated their companies file financial statements in XBRL, only four said they played some role. Fifty-two percent of the respondents' companies chose an in-house approach, and 48 percent chose a co-sourcing or outsourcing approach when implementing and creating financial reports in XBRL format.

None of the respondents said XBRL is used in the company's internal processes other than financial reporting. The majority of the respondents stated that they use their country-specific accounting standards, such as U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Only 17 percent currently use International Financial Reporting Standards.

Separately, XBRL US, a national consortium that is helping set XBRL standards, said it was making available for public review a set of XBRL data tags that can be used for the risk/return section of mutual fund prospectuses and the schedule of investments. The risk/return summary contains key information about a fund's investment objectives and strategies, costs, risks and past performance. The data elements are now available on the XBRL US site at

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