Wednesday, October 18, 2006

XBRL in Microsoft FRx

What is XBRL?
eXtensible Business Reporting Language is an XML-based language being developed specifically for the automation of business information requirements, such as the preparation, sharing, and analysis of financial reports, statements, and audit schedules.

Who needs to use it?
All types of organisations can use XBRL to save costs and improve efficiency in handling business and financial information. Because XBRL is extensible and flexible, it can be adapted to a wide variety of different requirements. All participants in the financial information supply chain can benefit, whether they are preparers, transmitters or users of business data.

DATA COLLECTION AND REPORTING
By using XBRL, companies and other producers of financial data and business reports can automate the processes of data collection. For example, data from different company divisions with different accounting systems can be assembled quickly, cheaply and efficiently if the sources of information have been upgraded to using XBRL. Once data is gathered in XBRL, different types of reports using varying subsets of the data can be produced with minimum effort. A company finance division, for example, could quickly and reliably generate internal management reports, financial statements for publication, tax and other regulatory filings, as well as credit reports for lenders. Not only can data handling be automated, removing time-consuming, error-prone processes, but the data can be checked by software for accuracy.

Small businesses can benefit alongside large ones by standardising and simplifying their assembly and filing of information to the authorities.

DATA CONSUMPTION AND ANALYSIS
Users of data which is received electronically in XBRL can automate its handling, cutting out time-consuming and costly collation and re-entry of information. Software can also immediately validate the data, highlighting errors and gaps which can immediately be addressed. It can also help in analysing, selecting, and processing the data for re-use. Human effort can switch to higher, more value-added aspects of analysis, review, reporting and decision-making. In this way, investment analysts can save effort, greatly simplify the selection and comparison of data, and deepen their company analysis. Lenders can save costs and speed up their dealings with borrowers. Regulators and government departments can assemble, validate and review data much more efficiently and usefully than they have hitherto been able to do.

How can my company benefit from XBRL?
Through the use of XBRL in companies, you will be able to:

* Obtain more rapid and reliable data on company financial performance.
* Greatly reduce effort and costs in gathering and analysing data.
* Simplify and automate tasks.
* Focus effort on analysis and value-added work.
* Make better use of software to improve efficiency and speed.

In summary, XBRL can speed up, reduce effort and increase reliability in accounting and auditing tasks.

Is XBRL available in FRx?
Yes, you can go to CustomerSource and look for instructions on how to use the XBRL Taxonomy for FRx reports. Below is part of these instructions:
Create the link with these steps:

1. From the Row Format menu, select Link | Open Link Window. The link dialog box appears.
2. From the Links record control box, click New.
3. Click the Link Type arrow and select XBRL as the link type.
4. Type a name for the link in the Link Name box.
5. Click the XBRL Taxonomy Files arrow and select the taxonomy file. XBRL taxonomy files have the .xsd file extension.
6. From the Links record control box, click Save.
7. Click Yes in the Save changes to Link confirmation box. The new link column, showing the link name and taxonomy name, appears in the row format window.
8. Repeat steps 1 through 7 for each taxonomy you want to include in your Row Format. Each XBRL Link column corresponds to one taxonomy file.

Are there available online trainings on XBRL?
I would recommend the free training by KPMG which goes more detail to explain the underlying technology behind XBRL which is XML then would give you parts of the XBRL Taxonomy. Here's the link:

Doug Burgum's departure

And I thought he was staying as Chairman of MBS but in order for this to happen he'll be in Redmond full time. I think geography played a key role in his decision.

I first saw Doug in Convergence and was still hosted by Great Plains Software in Fargo. Always soft spoken and poised but very smart & decisive. The venue was smaller then and he'll always joke with customers.

But we're in good hands with Satya's vision of bringing the products to the next level and he's talked before about how role-based productivity, collaboration and business intelligence will drive the growth of this business unit.

My 2 cents, the converged product would be 60% Axapta/Navision, 20% Solomon and 20% Great Plains.

You'll be missed Mr. Burgum!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

CIO - On the Rise or Losing Ground

"I had to admit that I believe the role as we know it would disappear at many companies—and in the not-too-distant future." - Shopping for a Future by Asiff Hirji's in CIO.com

"As technology leadership becomes a competency required for any senior executive at the management table so the traditional CIO role disappears and the role of "head of manufacturing" in Financial Services and the hybrid supply chain technology role in Consumer Goods emerge. The source of these executive is diverse and more difficult to source. The CIO role is becoming a viable stepping stone to the CEO role. CIO experience will become as valuable as that of CFO." - Kelvin Thompson, co-Head of Global CIO Practice and Head of Innovation at Heidrick & Struggles

I think this would depend on the industry and as roles evolved based on the complexity of the business. The CIO role in the past had been dubbed as the subject matter expert in technology but that has changed with some getting involved with business and project management. Now organizations see the CIO as business savvy that knows the industry, and can provide project and IT management.

Just my 2 cents.