Fujitsu Software Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers assist the Irish Central Statistics Office to pilot electronic business reporting using XBRL®
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) Ireland has successfully piloted the use of a new business reporting technology, XBRL® (eXtensible Business Reporting Language), in one of its quarterly industry surveys. Fujitsu Software Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers worked with the CSO in developing this solution. This is the first live implementation of XBRL in Ireland. XBRL is a language which describes the content and structure of business reports, ranging from small form-based sets of data to full financial statements. XBRL facilitates the structuring of financial information in a manner that can be easily understood by computers. XBRL is XML based and facilitates the transmission, storage and processing of this information over the Internet.
The CSO pilot involved the creation of an XBRL version of one of the CSO forms – the Quarterly Accounts Inquiry to Industry. This survey covers all enterprises with 20 or more persons engaged in the Mining, Manufacturing and Energy sectors and reports on changes in stocks, acquisitions and sales of capital assets during a quarter. Seven respondent companies participated in the pilot and successfully submitted data electronically using the XBRL solution.
Fujitsu Software Corporation used its XBRL toolkit, Interstage® XWand™, to define an XBRL taxonomy for the report – this specified the type and structure of the data sought. PricewaterhouseCoopers designed a Microsoft Excel form which exported data as an XBRL instance document, allowing responding companies to create the XBRL report. Both Fujitsu Software Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers worked with the CSO to ensure that the XBRL data could be quickly and efficiently processed by the CSO.
One of the key features of the pilot was that the use of Excel allowed the XBRL version of the form to be created easily by the respondent companies in a working environment that is familiar to them. When the adoption of XBRL increases in Ireland, the publication of the taxonomy will facilitate companies to complete the survey directly from their accounting systems, making it easier to comply with CSO reporting obligations.
The CSO’s head of e-Government, Maureen Delamere said “The CSO is committed to continually exploring ways of reducing the burden on our data providers. We are very pleased at having led the way with the first implementation of XBRL in Ireland and are delighted at how successful our pilot was. This is an important milestone and the CSO is keen to further explore the opportunities presented by XBRL.”
Fujitsu Software Corporation’s Director, Declan Jones added, “It was great to work on such a groundbreaking project, in which XBRL now becomes a reality in Ireland. Showcasing our XBRL strength is an obvious plus point for Fujitsu Software Corporation but it is the fact that the pilot has positive implications for companies and organisations both private and public who will benefit from the arrival of XBRL based electronic reporting which heightens the profile of this initiative for us”.
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ XBRL Champion, Richard Day commented, “We were delighted to help CSO pilot the use of XBRL for such a practical application. They have demonstrated that the benefits that XBRL brings are very relevant to Irish business. It is now time for companies and regulators to incorporate XBRL into their internal and external reporting processes to help reduce the reporting and regulatory burden on corporate Ireland”.
XBRL is developed and promoted by XBRL.org, (www.xbrl.org). This organisation held their last bi-annual global conference in Boston at the end of April and hosted over 300 delegates, including good representation from Ireland. In Ireland, Business Reporting Ireland Limited
(www.xbrl-ie.org) is responsible for the Irish development and promotion of XBRL and this is well supported by all of the CSO, Fujitsu Software Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
About the Central Statistics Office
Since its establishment in 1949, the CSO has pursued the mandate, “The collection, compilation, extraction and dissemination for statistical purposes of information relating to economic, social and general activities and conditions in the State”.
The Office exists primarily to meet the needs of Government for quality statistical information which is a vital input to the formation, implementation and monitoring of policy and programmes at national, regional and local levels in a rapidly changing economic and social environment.
It also serves the needs of the wider national and international community (i.e. business, EU, international organisations, media, researchers, and the public generally) for impartial and relevant information on social and economic conditions.
Our data collection needs are continually expanding in line with changing society and the need for more information and in greater detail. We are continually focussed on balancing these data collection requirements with the burden on data providers and are committed to extending the use of electronic data reporting as a means of responding to surveys.
CSO is exploring XBRL as one such channel for respondents. CSO is a founder member of XBRL Ireland, a non-profit company limited by guarantee, which brings together groups from the professions, the financial services industry, general industry, the software industry, the academic world and the public sector.
The key medium-term goal of XBRL Ireland is to provide an XBRL infrastructure in Ireland. Its future brief will embrace the concept of Business Reporting in the widest sense. Following the successful first implementation of XBRL in Ireland, at the CSO, the CSO is keen to further explore the opportunities presented by XBRL, to make it easier for businesses to provide statistical returns.
About Fujitsu Software Corporation
Fujitsu Software Corporation, based in Sunnyvale, California, is part of the Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) family. The wholly owned subsidiary delivers one of the world’s broadest lines of application infrastructure software products, including the Interstage® Suite.
Interstage XWand is an application development and runtime environment for building and deploying full-feature, industrial strength XBRL application. It’s an important solution component for regulatory compliance and greater transparency in financial reporting.
Fujitsu Software Corporation leverages Fujitsu’s international scope and expertise in developing and providing information technology solutions, including more than 4,000 software developers worldwide. To learn more about the Interstage Suite, visit www.fujitsu.com/interstage.
PricewaterhouseCoopers has supported XBRL from the start, in terms of its development and adoption globally and in Ireland. This support in Ireland has been led by Richard Day, the Irish XBRL Champion and Oliver Holt, a director of Business Reporting Ireland Limited.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com/ie) ) provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services for public and private clients. More than 120,000 people in 144 countries connect their thinking, experience and solutions to build public trust and enhance value for clients and their stakeholders.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, Wilton Place, Dublin 2 is authorized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland to carry on investment business.
“PricewaterhouseCoopers” refers to the network of member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.
Copyright 2005 Fujitsu Software Corporation. Fujitsu, the Fujitsu Symbol Mark, and Interstage are registered trademarks of Fujitsu Limited. All Interstage products and components are trademarks of Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Software Corporation. XBRL is a registered trademark of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts. All other registered trademarks, trade names, or service marks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.
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