XBRL Spain has launched an IT architectural competition to flesh out architectures that could potentially be developed into open-source, freely available software through public fundraising. XBRL Spain is hoping to entice global XBRL IT experts with 1,000 euros and awards recognition for the five top proposals.
Proposals are due Aug. 25 in one of five categories. The first is for an open-source converter from legacy formats to XBRL reports, customizable for each XBRL taxonomy. The second is for an open-source downloader from XBRL instance documents into a relational database, also customizable for each XBRL taxonomy. XBRL Spain also is looking for proposals for a generic open-source human-computer interface for viewing XBRL reports, such as HTML or spreadsheets, and for guidance to supervisors and reporting entities on XBRL implementation for primary reporting. Finally, XBRL Spain is open to any other proposals on any relevant IT topic related to advancing the utility of XBRL.
Winners in each of the five categories will be announced live during a Sept. 9 webinar on financial reporting in the 21st century. XBRL Spain is also happy to consider ideas outside the context of the contest if experts would like to share their ideas but have them considered for a prize. IT architects also are needed to join the adjudication panel, which will be chaired by Enrique Bonson, XBRL Spain vice president, and Herm Fischer of the XBRL Standards Board.
The goal of the competition is to advance the capture, analysis, creation, and viewing of XBRL reports on the part of investors, IT subject matter experts, academics, and even average citizens. The overarching objective is to further implement XBRL within supply chains while also reducing the regulatory burdens associated with XBRL. XBRL Spain is hopeful the competition will lead to solutions that complement and collaborate with existing solutions in the areas where current solutions are limited or nonexistent, especially as it relates to dimensional taxonomies.
The critical question for XBRL’s development today is how to lower the barriers for entry, says XBRL Spain. The not-for-profit XBRL consortium believes free or open source software may be a viable path. Open-source software has been successful for two reasons. XBRL Spain says. The software may be cheaper to use and support than proprietary applications, and free software may be an innovative, cost-effective way to develop and sustain applications that are targeted at specific needs.
The contest is seen as a way to investigate IT architectures as the first step to create a suite of open source XBRL tools and an off-the-shelf IT skeleton that is easily customizable to close the digital gap in primary reporting – from the reporting entity to the supervisor, from website to citizen, from supervisor to small investor.