XBRL and UK accounts

The team at KSL Consultants who produce the accounts brought to my attention that by 2011 we will no longer be able to provide our accounts to the UK government in PDF format. Instead some scratching of heads occurred as we googled XBRL formats.

As a SME we of course had the immediate panic, our current software doesn’t produce such a format and will we need a costly systems upgrade, but this is just a new file format. We will probably just need a new version of whatever we are using or widget that creates such a file (bit like the PDF creating software for Mirosoft word). A quick search showed that isn’t actually anything on the market that yet so we shall be parking this decision till next year.

The cynical side of me was impressed by the adoption. The HMRC technology team  has created a great role for themselves and are now able to run across the globe working with the leading software companies to create a XBRL widgets. Lining up their next job in the process.  However I am not that cynical the benefits of having a both parties providing their accounts in a form that can be easily understood will be beneficial (as the Documentum case study will show).

However I was wondering if you are going to make such a widget especially for SME’s then lets take it to the next level and create a BOBBooks like integration. When I am doing my due diligence and judge a company on the quality of their website and the accounts. A glossy accounts is very impressive. It is considered so impressive that a charity I know in Glasgow received a donation from a leading city organization to create an glossy set of accounts. Therefore I would upgrade to a system that created my XBRL format file for the government but also something that formats beautiful looking accounts and sends it to the printers.

Anyway I shall probably have look again for a widget this time in 2010…