Was developed to serve in business world

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Accounting was developed to serve in business world, organizations and users important and reliable financial information for decision making. A lot of companies are already offer users with financial data, using Internet and the World Wide Web. Nevertheless all these information is difficult and complex to be '' readable'' because there was no common and generally accepted format for interchanging business and financial information on the Web. XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is being developed to overcome this problem and present financial information to users with a common language to organize, make public, and exchange financial information. XBRL is a promising innovation and plays a central role in the electronic production and expenditure of financial information. This analysis combines Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and a technology-organization environment adoption model to describe the implementation of XBRL in Greece and Germany. The research confirms the usefulness, the effectiveness and the benefits that occur from this technology innovation in a firm or organization. The research has implications for policy-makers and decision-makers in Greece and other related contexts.


Accounting is the language of business and the common way of communication in business world. Although it is a set of complex standards, the recent years is being simplified to be more understandable and give accurate information to investors and managers. XBRL is the greatest promise to fill the gap in financial reporting because offers information which can be easily analyzed, shared and exchanged. Furthermore XBRL is an open-source reporting system that gives electronically set financial statements and reports on a global scale (Richards et al., 2002). The implementation of XBRL can revolutionize the financial and corporate reporting, creating benefits for the companies, the organizations and the economy as a whole. According to Locke and Lowe (2006) the success of programs such as XBRL is being regulated by the achievement of general adoption. It seems that XBRL adoption and implementation is an emerging step for companies and public organizations.

This study uses a questionnaire with a survey of a number of big and mid-size enterprises in two European countries that already use the XBRL. The aims and the objectives of this study are to investigate the effectiveness and the benefits of the XBRL. Moreover, with the appropriate model is going to be analyzed the implementation of this innovation and which factors affect it. In addition to that, it is being presented the implementation of XBRL between Greece and Germany.

This study is being organized to four main parts. Firstly, there is an introduction and the literature review about XBRL. At the other two parts is being described the research methodology, the hypotheses and finally the timetable and the expected results of the study.

Literature review

What is XBRL

XBRL is a digital mark-up language on the basis of XML and is the connection between different entities when transferring business information via internet. To make possible the communication of business information, XBRL is defined as an adaptation of XML to financial and business information with the aim to unify business data which are ''friendly'' in an appropriate format where different entities communicate. XBRL contains XBRL taxonomies which consist of business regulations, labels in dissimilar languages, calculation rules and rational relationships. XBRL report follows the rules contained in the taxonomy and when business information is extracted in XBRL format, there is an extra guarantee of the quality of this information.

XBRL is the creation of XBRL International (www.xbrl.org), a non-profit association of a growing number of financial service, government, and accounting organizations. A key point of XBRL is an open and computer-readable format for the large amount of information found in business reporting and in financial statements (Debreceny and Gray, 2001). XBRL data contain important non-financial information which is not easy to combined and publish using the existing information systems (Pinsker, 2004). The benefits from adopting XBRL are several but the most important are the ability of using commercial software, the exchange of data and information, the better cooperation between firms and its regulators.

What XBRL is not

Even though it is confirmed that XBRL increases transparency (Pinsker and Li, 2008), it cannot guarantee that it will prevent the fraud. XBRL also cannot promise that all the data and information are valuable and ''safe'' (Ramin, 2002). According to Elliot and Elliot (2004), XBRL is not an accounting standard, so the user hat to gain knowledge on accounting standards in order to examine and judge any financial statement.

Benefits from using XBRL

XBRL reduces the costs related with analyzing information from firms by decoding reporting formats (Weber, 2003). Hodge et al. (2004) supported that using XBRL helps inexperienced users obtain and combine related financial statement to make investment decisions. Regulators, using XBRL harmonized with the international business reporting standards. Already many European stock exchanges require financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The application of IFRS could improve the transparency and the comparability of financial reporting among the EU's markets. Several countries are also in the process of adopting or IFRS gain benefits in the European capital markets (Catacora and Hannon, 2005). XBRL International supports that firms will have a reduction in their cost of capital because of real-time financial reporting and submission of their data in XBRL format. Pinsker and Li (2008) investigated the costs and benefits of XBRL adoption by observing four companies that already implementing XBRL placed in South Africa, Canada, U.S, and the Germany. Their study was regarding the adoption process, the consequence of the adoption on the business and the possible changes on capital costs. Regarding the adoption procedure all four companies indicated that the adoption process was easy and that XBRL didn't adjust in their ERP system. Additionally, the companies decreased their costs because of procedure capability and the reduction of usefulness information. Another reason for cost savings was the reduction of the bookkeeping stuff or their employments to other departures. Lastly the US Company didn't concentrate on operating cost reduction but measured XBRL as a very high-quality implement for communicating with the company's possible investors.

XBRL adoption and implementation

The adoption of XBRL increases in Europe (Locke and Lowe, 2006). That can be explained by two main reasons. The first reason is that European regulators, firms and governments are attractive to adopting and implementing technological innovation such as XBRL. The second reason is that these enterprises and organizations require government-regulations for the financial reporting via internet. But, discrepancy in financial reporting leads to untrustworthiness (Hannon, 2004). As it is said before, XBRL adoption in Europe is rapid because of the existing of international financial reporting standards (IFRS). There is a positive relationship between IFRS and XBRL and the European Union supports this connection. As a result, there are many adoption projects in Europe. According to Hannon (2004):

• Since 2005, United Kingdom financial services report electronically in XBRL format.

• Since 2007, the government of Belgium started a new project to adopt XBRL. It is estimated that about 400,000 companies and organizations will use for their financial reporting. A same project is also under other European countries like Germany, Spain, France and Denmark.

• In Netherlands, about 500 government institutions are willing to adopt XBRL for government reporting.


In this study, it will be used primary data analysis and the data are being collected by a survey. The questionnaire will be sent to a number of big and mid-sized companies that already use XBRL. The aim of the questionnaire is to study the usefulness and the ease of use of the XBRL in Greece and Germany. The questionnaire it will be sent by e-mail to enterprises that have implemented XBRL. S.P.S.S. 17 (Statistical Package for Social Science) is the statistical program that all the data will be tested and analyzed in order to come to final conclusions. The selected model for that study is named TAM (Technology Acceptance Model) and the hypotheses are based on that model.

3. 1 Proposed Model (TAM)

A well known tool for predicting and examining the acceptance of emerging IT in latest years is the technology acceptance model (TAM) (Davis, 1986; Davis, 1989; Davis, Bagozzi & Warshaw , 1989 ; Davis , 1993) . TAM is an alteration of the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975; Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) and was planned to test external variables. External variables are investigated via their affect or usefulness and the ease of use. Furthermore, the theory of TAM is generally accepted as one of the most efficient models in Information technology, measuring the acceptance and the usage behavior. Prior results by Pinsker research showed that the TAM has notably different characteristics than earlier information technology adoption research. Several studies about TAM have shown that the objective to adopt an IT/IS is strong related to actual adoption (Pinsker and Wheeler, 2003). According to AlGahtani, TAM provides positive results both for companies and organizations outside of North America. A main purpose of the TAM is to offer a basis for accepting the impact of external variables on internal factors (Al-Gahtani, 2001). TAM uses "supposed" usefulness and approaches, as its key variables, toward technology adaption in order to forecast IT adoption. Pinsker (2007) supports that if the decision process is made by individuals; the adoption of XBRL has high potential implications.

The hypotheses are:

• Hypothesis 1: XBRL adoption will result if the adoption decision maker has a high level of perceived usefulness toward the technology. (Pinsker, 2008)

• Hypothesis 2: XBRL adoption will result if the adoption decision maker has a favourable attitude toward XBRL and in technology in general. (Pinsker, 2008)

TAM Model


Figure 1 (Davis, F. D., Bagozzi, R. P., and Warshaw, P. R.)


TIMETABLE 2010/2011

November 2010

Searching the topic in internet/designing the appropriate structure of Dissertation/definition of the goals

December 2010

Finding the right Model/Clear definition of the hypotheses/Searching the Literature review

January-February 2011

Searching for further information/ Reading of the literature review

March 2011

Building of questionnaires/Delivering the questionnaires

April 2011

Gathering of questionnaires and further reading

May-June 2011

Regression analysis/Analysis of data/Coming into concluding remarks

July-August 2011

Writing up the Dissertation and final corrections by tutor

September 2011

Final changes/Submission of Dissertation

The above timetable 2010/2011 shows a first judgment of how the steps of proposed dissertation will take place until the final submission.

Expected results

Implementation of XBRL is a process that many companies have to pay attention. Prior research showed that many companies are willing to adopt this technological innovation. This study will examine how successful could be the implementation of XBRL. It will focus on companies that are placed in Greece and Germany. The objectives of this study are to shed light on the factors that affect the implementation of XBRL. The appropriate questionnaire and the right model will create results that are also useful for further research. Moreover this research will investigate if the users find easy this adoption. In conclusion, this study hopes to offer the right results for the managers and the enterprises and what improvements have to be done in the future for having a success implementation of XBRL.