XBRL International, the consortium working toward global adoption of the Extensible Business Reporting Language, said that it would form a standards board to upgrade its technical materials and to oversee and monitor their production.The consortium said that it would formally establish the board over the upcoming months, and has appointed Michael Ohata of Microsoft Corp. as founding standards board chair and issued a call for nominations to other positions. Ohata serves as controller of reporting standards for Microsoft Finance.

The decision to set up the standards board followed a review by the XBRL Steering Committee of the process by which the consortium produces its technical material, including specifications, technical guidance and test materials.

"The formation of the XBRL Standards Board is a milestone in the growing maturity of XBRL," said Kurt Ramin, chair of the XBRL International Steering Committee. "Adoption is increasing rapidly and the board will ensure that our technical output is of the highest quality and that we can respond quickly and efficiently to business needs."

Until all seats on the board have been filled, the consortium will set up an interim board.

Specifically, the board will be charged with:

* Increasing uniformly the quality, consistency and stability of XBRL International technical material;

* Raising the level of openness and formality of the XBRL International standards-setting process; and,

* Managing the process more actively, resulting in improved interoperability, which will accelerate adoption of XBRL.

XBRL enables computer-readable tags to be applied to individual items of financial data in business reports, which transform them from blocks of text into information that can be understood and processed automatically by various computer software systems.

Currently in the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission is running a pilot program to evaluate XBRL. Internationally, the United Kingdom recently announced that XBRL would become mandatory for tax returns and accounts beginning in 2010.

In addition, the Bank of Japan is using XBRL for data gathering, while China, Belgium, Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore and Spain are among several other countries that are either using XBRL or have recently announced projects to introduce it.

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