Business and Financial Reporting Applications Get Boost From Release of Latest XBRL Specification Version 2.1

Enables Greater Interoperability of XBRL Applications and Eases Implementation Efforts By Users

NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2004 -- XBRL International, a global consortium of over 200 leading accounting, technology and financial services companies and government agencies, announced today the Recommended Release of version 2.1 of its XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) technical specification. Enhanced functionality of version 2.1 will ease XBRL implementation by users of XBRL-enabled software and will improve the ability of application developers to create platform independent XBRL applications and tools.

"In this latest release of the specification, the manner in which business reporting software applications produce or consume XBRL-tagged data has been clarified and enhanced," said Walter Hamscher, XBRL International Steering Committee Member at Large and Acting Chair. "We worked with the leading software developers and users represented in our consortium over the last few months and this collaboration succeeded in enhancing the specification to make it more readily usable in their XBRL application development."

"The release of Specification 2.1 will create greater interoperability between XML software applications by creating greater consistency and guidance for both producers and consumers of XBRL business reporting information. This milestone is important because it ultimately will accelerate adoption by both government and private sectors of XBRL tools and solutions." said Dave Hoffman, Unisys Partner responsible for the Call Modernization Program contract with the FFIEC.

"Available applications will speed the adoption and use of XBRL in the marketplace, and XBRL Specification 2.1 moves us even closer to global recognition of XBRL as the enabling technology for business reporting on the Internet," said Mr. Shosaku Shimomura, Head of Listing Company Services, Listing Department, Tokyo Stock Exchange, where the first stock exchange application of XBRL was implemented. Jeff Smith, Service Development Leader at the UK Inland Revenue noted "This is an important update and as members of the consortium we have been closely monitoring drafts of 2.1 for several months, so that when our XBRL e-filing solution is launched it will be fully 2.1 compliant."

"Software vendors developing XBRL-enabled applications can anticipate a period of substantial stability in the XBRL specification," said John Turner, KPMG Global XBRL Lead. "XBRL International will deliver future functionality and changes to the XBRL specification through optional modules in order to maintain stability of XBRL technology. This is similar to the World Wide Web Consortium's approach to XML development. Stability is an important factor in the product development cycle for software vendors because of the substantial resources they dedicate to R&D, testing and marketing of new applications."

In August 2003, XBRL-US announced the results of its XBRL Software Vendor Survey showing that two-thirds of accounting software vendors surveyed have either already XBRL-enabled at least one of their accounting software packages or will do so by December 2004. These software vendors include Oracle, Microsoft, Hyperion, SAP, PeopleSoft, CaseWare International, ACCPAC, JD Edwards, Best Software and Cartesis. Conducted on behalf of XBRL-US by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the survey indicates that vendors believe the demand for XBRL functionality within accounting software is on the rise.

Accompanying the latest specification is an XBRL 2.1 XBRL Conformance Suite of over 200 tests, released for use by companies to test their XBRL implementations. XBRL International staff worked intensively with three consortium members, DecisionSoft, Fujitsu and Universal Business Matrix (UBmatrix), to provide independent verification that the specification could be implemented and to ensure that XBRL products can interoperate. This suite is being released as a Public Working Draft contemporaneously with the specification. The XBRL 2.0 Specification released in December 2001 and all XBRL taxonomies developed in conformance with the XBRL 2.0 Specification will remain valid and continue to be supported by the XBRL community, including software vendors.

XBRL is a royalty free, open specification that uses XML-based data tags to describe financial data in business reports and databases. XBRL benefits all members of the financial information supply chain by making data over the Internet more interoperable and relevant for users and by allowing the exchange of financial information across all software formats resulting in cheaper, faster and more reliable extraction of financial information of reports or data systems. XBRL-enabled applications use XBRL taxonomies that consist of definitions of financial and business reporting terms expressed in XML Schema, along with rich networks of relationships among those terms expressed using XML Linking Language (XLink).

About XBRL International

XBRL International is a non-profit consortium whose members include over 200 of the world's leading accounting, technology, financial services and government agencies concerned with the business information supply chain. XBRL has been widely recognized as an important component in the improvement of corporate financial reporting transparency. For more information about XBRL International, please visit .

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