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Accounting on the Web

Microsoft has lent its weight to a new Web-based data format for financial reporting that could slash company reporting costs and...

Microsoft has lent its weight to a new Web-based data format for financial reporting that could slash company reporting costs and fast-track investor access to key company information.

The software giant this week used the Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) to publish its financial results for 2001 and the first two quarters of the current financial year.

Analysts have welcomed the XBRL standard and said it could help pave the way to filing company accounts over the Internet. But they have also warned that the expense of integrating the XML-language into corporate IT systems could prevent smaller companies from adopting the reporting specification.

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