NewRiver, a US provider of a central repository of mutual fund documents and data for financial services firms, has joined XBRL US, the national consortium for XML business reporting standards. The firm has joined the consortium in order to help the industry simplify financial disclosure, according to Russ Planitzer, president and CEO of NewRiver.
The mission of the consortium is to facilitate development of taxonomies relevant for use in the US marketplace including the XBRL US GAAP taxonomies for use by public companies and to promote the use of XML for business reporting.
“XBRL-formatted documents enable greater efficiency, improved accuracy and reliability as well as cost savings to those involved in supplying and using financial and business information data,” says Planitzer. “XBRL is based on XML, a widely accepted standard, and has the ability to ‘tag’ or code each element on a financial or business report with information such as description, units or currency, so users can easily identify and understand the information.”
He explains the reasons behind the decision to join XBRL: “NewRiver was invited to join by Mark Bolgiano, president and CEO of XBRL US. This is a good fit for NewRiver as we participated in the Investment Company Institute’s (ICI) development of the most recent XBRL taxonomy. In addition, our core business is our expertise in delivering Edgar-based mutual fund documents and data. It is this experience that makes our membership in XBRL US a strong fit and will give us a voice in future developments.”
NewRiver has picked this particular moment in time to join because the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently published a rule proposal that, if enacted in its current form, would mandate the use of XBRL in mutual fund risk return summaries by as early as the first quarter of 2010, explains Planitzer. “We see this as yet another indication that the evolution of paper to electronic-based mutual fund prospectuses is continuing, and NewRiver is well suited with our expertise to help current and future clients as this evolution occurs.”
XBRL’s Bolgiano adds: “NewRiver is well known in the industry as a leading expert in the delivery of mutual fund documents and data. Their involvement with the consortium will be valuable as they have been driving electronic delivery of mutual fund documents and data for years.”
XBRL is a royalty free, open specification for software that uses XML data tags to describe business and financial information for public and private companies and other organisations. XBRL uses a standards-based method with which users can prepare, publish, exchange and analyse business and financial statements in a variety of formats and the information they contain. It is extensible, meaning that the terms available for use can be customised so that companies using XBRL can create their own elements – called “extensions” – to describe a unique reporting situation.