San Rafael, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2002) --The developers of F9, one of the most prominent financial report writer software packages used by business, plan to enhance that product with the ability to produce reports formatted in XBRL, the Internet-based programming code for financial reports.

Stephen Wall, a director with F9 developer, Lasata Software of West Perth, Australia, told Electronic Accountants about the plans at the Softline Accountmate partners conference here shortly after a panel discussion in which Accounting Today senior news editor John Covaleski cited XBRL as one of the major trends in accounting software.

The move could be a boost for XBRL, since F9 is available with pre-built links to approximately 25 different business accounting software applications; Softline Accountmate’s flagship product Visual Accountmate is among those accounting products that link to F9.

Wall reaffirmed one of the major themes in the panel discussion of XBRL - the technology has the potential to become a major force in accounting software if it gains broader market and software vendor acceptance. "We’re all on the wing waiting for this to happen," Wall said. He did not specify when XBRL capability would be added to F9.

Lasata would be following rival FRx Software, which added XBRL capability to its report writer products more than two years ago. Lasata took over development of F9 upon acquiring the product’s previous developer, Synex Corp. of Vancouver, Canada, in October 2002.

XBRL, which has been under development by an accounting industry-led group since 1998, is a derivation of XML, or extensible markup language, a programming format in which items in electronic files are assigned tags that allow users to automatically access specific items. It is designed to enable data to be readily gathered over the Internet and distributed among software applications.

-- John M. Covaleski

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