New York (Jan. 19, 2004) -- XBRL International, a global consortium of accounting, technology and financial services companies and government agencies, has released version 2.1 of its Extensible Business Reporting Language technical specification.

XBRL is an open specification that uses XML-based data tags to describe financial data in business reports and databases. The latest release of the specification clarifies and enhances the manner in which business reporting software applications produce or consume XBRL-tagged data to make the specification more readily usable, according to Walter Hamscher, member at large and acting chair of the XBRL International Steering Committee.

The consortium also released as a public working draft an XBRL Conformance Suite of over 200 tests for use by companies to test their XBRL implementations. The XBRL 2.0 Specification released in December 2001 and all XBRL taxonomies developed in conformance with the XBRL 2.0 Specification will remain valid.

In August 2003, an XBRL software vendor survey showed that two-thirds of U.S. accounting software vendors polled have either already XBRL-enabled at least one of their accounting software packages or will do so by December 2004. Vendors included Oracle, Microsoft, Hyperion, SAP, PeopleSoft, CaseWare International, Accpac, JD Edwards, Best Software and Cartesis.

-- WebCPA staff

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