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Holland Takes a Different Tack on XBRL

Neil Baker | February 26, 2008

If U.S. regulators want to see how they could wisely, successfully integrate XBRL technology into financial reporting, they might benefit from a visit to the Netherlands.

While the United States—and Japan, and numerous other countries around the world—envisions XBRL as a way to bring more information to investors, Holland is taking a very different approach to the technology. There, regulators have focused on how XBRL can reduce the regulatory and paperwork burden for businesses. Enthusiasts say that is much more likely to garner the corporate support necessary to make XBRL thrive.

XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is a technology that lets companies “tag” the data that goes into their financial reports so others can view and compare reports more easily. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission seems set on mandating XBRL for corporate filings by the end of this year. Investors love the idea.... To get the full story, subscribe now.