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XBRL and the Revolution of Machine-to-Machine Data
January 17, 2006

SEC Announces New Incentive to Spur XBRL Adoption

San Jose -- Represenatives of the�more than�four hundred�organizations pushing for adoption of eXtensible Business Reporting Language or "XBRL" for public company reporting will�meet in San Jose this week.� You can get more information�about the�free�event hosted�by Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE)�by clicking here.

IRA will be participating in the analyst presentations in the afternoon of Wednesday, January 18th.� You may�download a copy of our presentation: "Research and Analytics: the Revolution of Machine-to-Machine data," by clicking here.

After years of work, the XBRL International consortium seemes to be�finally seeing its efforts�rewarded.� Indeed, over the past several months,�the chief regulator of the US securities markets has far�exceeded the�greatest hopes of XBRL advocates,�leaving the�consortium scrambling to catch up with the surge in interest by the SEC.�

As one insider told�the IRA�this week: "We've got about six months to deliver a workable�XBRL solution to the SEC.� If we don't,�Washington may well take�the ball away from us."� This and similar comments�confirm our view that the toughest part of the birthing effort for XBRL will be taking the concepts painstakingly developed over the past half decade and translating them into a data production environment.

The SEC has greatly accelerated the pace of adoption of XBRL, both in its public initiatives regarding the technology and in specific comments by Chairman Christopher Cox.� When Chairman Cox actually addressed the preliminary meeting regarding� the impending RFP for operating the EDGAR system, more than a few large�Beltway Bandits�took notice. "We've never even seen an agency head at a technical meeting such as this," said one 20-year veteran of the DC contracting market.

The SEC is offering a carrot to filers who participate in a trial of XBRL.� Last week,�Chairman Cox�announced that the agency will offer expedited reviews of registration statements and annual reports to companies that volunteer for a test group of filers which submit their documents in structured, machine-readable format.

In April 2005, the Commission began a voluntary program for receiving financial information using XBRL,�a computer language that makes financial data interactive. The SEC�program allows for the voluntary submission of XBRL documents as exhibits to periodic reports from corporate issuers and Investment Company Act reports.

According to the SEC press release, companies that participate in the voluntary program�s new test group will furnish financial data contained in their periodic and investment company reports in XBRL format for at least one year and provide feedback on their experiences, including the costs and benefits associated with reporting in the interactive data format.��

Technical issues aside, the�big question facing the XBRL community and the SEC�is what it will take to increase filer participation in the�voluntary program.� Can the SEC merely cajole filers into participation with the carrot of accelerated processing�or will some type of regulatory�mandate be required to make the XBRL effort a reality?

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