Machines Aren't the Only Ones That Can Read XBRL
Japan’s JustSystems (news, site) has announced the launch of its beta program for xfy eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). Claiming it’s the first of it’s kind, the XML solutions providers designed the program specifically for people who’ve spent nights dreaming of the day they’d be able review and analyze the typically unreadable XBRL data.

Isn’t that considerate?

How and Why

The new offering reportedly “consumes” XBRL. After consumption, the program creates content that uses the XBRL data and spits it out in handy and Web-ready HTML or a PDF.

Playing on the idea that sharing is caring, the report can easily be passed around from one interested party to the next. After the report is published, other users can view it without any special software — just a standard Web browser does the trick.

As far as the reasoning behind JustSystem's new program, it doesn't take a brainiac to comprehend how understanding such a language could be beneficial. Diane Mueller, vice president, XBRL development for JustSystems, puts it like this:

“XBRL wasn’t designed for human readability, and that introduces risk at every stage of the information lifecycle — from preparation to the review and analysis used to make operational and investment decisions. “xfy XBRL Report provides a trusted rendering and visualization solution for composing and publishing reports in formats designed to be read by people, not machines.”

Who Cares?

Since these reports are supposedly a new-ish sort of thing, it's natural to wonder exactly what kind of people would be interested in getting their hands on one of these badboys. According to JustSystems, the target audience for XBRL reports includes:

  • Filers: Specifically those that need complete visibility throughout the filing process and a environment for rendering and visualizing XBRL data to ensure filings are free of errors, oversights and omissions
  • Preparers: Individuals who perform internal reviews of XBRL filings and provide a value-added service for client-facing reviews, validation and sign-off
  • Auditors: Individuals who need to bring together XBRL and non-XBRL data in a visual environment and then manipulate and abstract information for review, analysis and attestation of corporate filings
  • Research Analysts: Thos who need an internal tool for reviewing XBRL filings to provide a platform for adding value-added content and services for investors and other constituents
  • Institutional and individual investors: Individuals who want to take advantage of the transparency and comparability XBRL data provides by rendering and visualizing XBRL and non-XBRL data from multiple entities and by providing a basis for making informed investment decisions
  • Financial journalists, analysts, investors and other data users: All of whom want access to the figures they need for real-time reporting to enhance their clients’ decision making processes in addition to their own.

XBRL Reports: I Want!

Government and corporate users are currently being invited to test the application. Can’t hardly wait to participate? We know.

Don't forget though, the application is still in its beta phase. Those dying for the full XBRL report experience should e-mail a short and charming letter of interest to beta[at]