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Can inline XBRL save XBRL, or at least improve data quality?

Tammy Whitehouse | March 21, 2017

The snail’s pace of progress in shifting financial statement data from static to digital may be getting a boost with recent regulatory efforts, but proponents had better get a move on if they want to convince critics to hold on a little longer to see the real benefits.

The migration of financial statement data to the digital realm has been stymied for years by lackluster regulatory direction that gave companies little inspiration to invest in producing quality digital data. The Securities and Exchange Commission began requiring companies to provide their financial statement data not only through traditional regulatory filings but also through a separate XBRL exhibit that tags each bit of data in a way that makes it searchable and sortable as never before.

The largest public companies went first, learning the XBRL system and...

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