PR Newswire joins Microsoft, Bowne, SunTrust Banks, Inc., Reuters and others in a project that will demonstrate the benefits of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) on the corporate reporting supply chain. The results of Cycle 1 and future plans will be presented at a New York workshop in December.

XBRL is an emerging XML-based standard that permits the automatic exchange and reliable extraction of financial information across all software formats and technologies. It enhances the usability and transparency of financial information reported under existing accounting standards by reducing the need to manually key information, thereby minimizing the risk of data entry error.

“The goal of this project is to evaluate and illustrate the benefits of XBRL to issuers of financial news and to the users of this information, specifically creators, distributors and users of earnings releases,” said Michelle Horowitz, vice president of content development, PR Newswire and chairperson, XBRL-US Adoption Committee. “The companies involved in this project have demonstrated how XBRL-enabled earnings releases can be created, distributed and used in order to facilitate greater transparency in corporate America, and have pledged to do their part to make the integration and transition as seamless as possible, assuming it is accepted as a standard. By creating XBRL-enabled earnings releases and distributing them as widely as possible through secure and credible distribution systems such as PR Newswire, companies can do their share of helping to restore investor confidence in the markets.”

The project demonstration will provide a working example of how XBRL can simplify the process of reporting financial data by illustrating the lifecycle of an XBRL-enabled earnings release from creation to distribution to retrieval and use.

“XBRL streamlines the financial information value chain, from the creation of financial information within a company’s systems through the distribution of external financial information to a company’s stakeholders,” said Curt Anderson, senior director of Investor Relations for Microsoft. “As more companies make their financial statements available in XBRL format, key financial information will be more easily and quickly comparable and analyzed across industries and companies.”

In Cycle 1, Microsoft, SunTrust and Bowne will utilize a prerelease version of the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerator for XBRL to create their earnings releases in XBRL. The earnings releases will be viewable at www.xbrlforearningsreleases.com in the format they will appear once they are electronically distributed through PR Newswire. Reuters, the world's largest news agency, will assess how the media and Reuters customers will benefit from receiving earnings releases in XBRL. Future cycles of the demonstration will include real-time electronic distribution of the XBRL earnings releases and will illustrate how XBRL facilitates the use of financial data for investors and the media.

"XBRL gives the financial community a standard way of digitally publishing, extracting and exchanging company financial reports and associated information. Reuters is interested in exploiting the power of XBRL to bring value to our customers," said Michael Porch, senior vice president, News Capabilities Group, Reuters.

Garry Lowenthal, chairman of the Financial Executive International’s Committee on Finance and Information Technology said, “The adoption of XBRL promises to help companies make faster and better decisions and improve financial transparency, which ultimately boosts investor confidence. Additionally, widespread adoption of XBRL will permit financial analysts, investors, accountants, government agencies, internal users, and other interested parties to access, compare, and analyze data in ways that currently are not practical or even possible.”

Simultaneous to the announcement of the successful launch of the first cycle of this initiative, PR Newswire is extending invitations to other companies to participate in the next two cycles. “Although a handful of entities kicked off this project, it is our intention to include all significant industry leaders who wish to participate by creating their earnings releases in XBRL for the 2nd and 3rd cycles of this project,” said Horowitz. The project cycles were developed to match the quarterly earnings announcement cycle.

PR Newswire, Microsoft, Bowne and Reuters are all members of the XBRL International Consortium (www.xbrl.org), a not-for-profit association dedicated to the research, development and adoption of XBRL as a standard format.

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