REDMOND, Wash., and OXFORD, England — April 13, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. and CoreFiling confirmed today that U.K. corporations can now use CoreFiling’s Seahorse service to file their taxes electronically, thanks to a technology licensing agreement the XBRL specialists forged with Microsoft to create Inline XBRL (iXBRL) documents by intelligently tagging Microsoft Word versions of financial statements.
The cloud-based system is now in use by corporate and accountancy practices to comply with the iXBRL mandate imposed on all U.K. companies by the tax authority, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Since April 1, 2011, HMRC has required that all significant facts in annual financial statements be bar coded using the iXBRL standard, allowing them to be read, compared and analyzed electronically.
CoreFiling’s Seahorse is tightly integrated with the Microsoft Word document format, used extensively in the preparation of financial reports, so that users can produce compliant iXBRL documents without changing their existing processes. This was made possible through the pioneering work done by Microsoft in the technology that underpins Seahorse.
Seahorse dramatically reduces the amount of time taken to tag financial reports by providing the user with automated tagging suggestions based upon its cumulative learning from previous tagging decisions. This is achieved through CoreFiling’s innovative application of machine learning technology to provide intelligent tagging suggestions, yielding a high level of automation and reducing the amount of manual intervention required.
Seahorse provides customers with an on-demand online service in the cloud. Customers do not need to purchase additional software, install local systems or maintain local systems, and customers are guaranteed access and capacity as the cloud technology allows scaling to accommodate peaks and troughs throughout the year.
The iXBRL standard is an evolution of the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) that allows seamless integration of XBRL tags into a Web page, providing a single document that can be read by both humans and computers. Seahorse hides the complexity often associated with XBRL, making it easy for business users familiar with accounting concepts and Microsoft Office products to create iXBRL documents.
“CoreFiling Seahorse represents a huge step forward in XBRL technology. Customers are already experiencing the simplicity and convenience of working from within Microsoft Office and are able to convert their accounts into intelligent iXBRL documents almost effortlessly,” said CoreFiling CEO John Turner.
Microsoft’s Commitment to Intellectual Property Collaboration
Microsoft offers flexible intellectual property licensing programs that give companies access to many of the foundational technologies in its own products, allowing those companies to build devices, applications and services that work seamlessly with each other.
“Today’s use of XBRL allows for automation of financial reporting,” said David Kaefer, general manager of Intellectual Property Licensing at Microsoft. “By licensing this code from Microsoft, CoreFiling has accelerated delivery of an integrated solution that puts them in a position to lead the U.K.’s drive toward automated financial reporting.”
CoreFiling works with regulators, government agencies and corporations globally in managing, producing, collecting, reviewing and understanding performance information. The company specialises in XBRL.
XBRL stands for ‘eXtensible Business Reporting Language’, the globally agreed standard format for electronically filing and publishing financial and performance information, in which relevant data is tagged so that it can be machine read.
CoreFiling invented iXBRL (Inline XBRL) to allow financial statements and other performance reports to be read by a human reviewer and consumed by a computer. It’s a web page with electronic bar codes embedded around each important fact. iXBRL is a Recommended Specification of the XBRL International consortium and is open and freely licensable. For HMRC, iXBRL answers some key challenges: how to provide a simple, non technical way for business people to file online corporate tax returns including structured, computer readable, XBRL based accounts, while giving both tax inspectors and finance professionals easy access to the same underlying information.
HMRC requires that all corporation tax submissions use iXBRL for periods ending after 31 March 2010 and filed after 1 April 2011.
CoreFiling is an active member of the XBRL Consortium which promotes the adoption of the standard and oversees its development. CoreFiling staff play leading roles in a number of the technical working groups.
More details at http://www.corefiling.com
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
For more information, press only:
Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide for Microsoft, (503) 443-7070, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.