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XBRL US On the Hunt for Partners to do Legwork Around Corporate Actions Taxonomies

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Given that it’s being touted as the next big thing for the financial services community, it’s no surprise that XBRL US is looking for partners to lend a hand in covering some of the groundwork for its spate of new projects. The not for profit consortium is currently working with Swift and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) to automate the issuer to investor corporate actions data process and is in need of research partners to work on research and development projects already underway to develop taxonomies, or digital dictionaries, for corporate actions, proxy and governance, and asset backed securities.

In addition to taxonomy development, other areas of research will focus on the harmonisation of XBRL with other standards such as ISO 20022 for financial services, says the organisation. This is in line with the XBRL US, DTCC and Swift initiative, which is focused on building a standard for corporate actions issuer data based on a combination of Swift ISO 20022 messaging standards and XBRL tagging.

However, the research partners would also be required to carry out advanced work on XML and XBRL implementations in the areas of identity management, extensibility, and rendering of tagged documents and data streams, adds XBRL US. These partners will represent financial backers as well as lending spare pairs of hands as they will need to fund cooperative research, provide expert research fellows who will work with XBRL US in their New York labs, and sponsor internships. Facilitated workshops with research partners are scheduled to begin in January 2010, according to the organisation.

XBRL US has already netted a few research fellows to carry out some of the work in the form of Landon Westerlund from KPMG, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Walter Hamscher and Paul Sappington from Edgar Online. These three have been involved in the development of the US GAAP Taxonomy, which was initiated in March 2007 and completed in April 2008. Westerlund, who is a partner at KPMG, coordinated accounting efforts for the project. Hamscher, who is president of Standards Advantage, a computer scientist and an XBRL expert, joined the SEC’s Office of Interactive Disclosure in 2008. Sappington, vice president of software development for Edgar Online, was project technology lead.

The standard has already gained significant traction in the US for financial reporting: as of this year, the XBRL US GAAP Taxonomy is required by the US SEC for public company financial statements.

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