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May 31, 2003

XBRL language pains

XBRL may be the betamax of electronic languages

Touted as the next big thing for financial reporting, XBRL – or extensible business reporting language – was supposed to conquer the IR world and make things a whole lot easier for everyone involved in the financial reporting process.Zachary Coffin, chair of's liaison committee, told IR magazine back in 2001 that 'around 15-18 percent' of US companies would be reporting in XBRL by the end of that year.So what happened? Not a lot. In fact, it seems there are just four companies

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