Microsoft investors may not know it, but they are using XBRL if they navigate the IR website of the company. As one of the early participants in the SEC’s voluntary filing program, Microsoft had already done the work to gets its official documents converted to XBRL, the tagging language that makes it easier to share financial data. The IR team looked for other applications for that effort, and added a tool to the Investor Central section of its website that lets investors pull data more easily than ever from financial reports.
XBRL, for example, connects financial statement line items right into the appropriate footnotes and MD&A. This new feature adds up to ‘a rich data experience’ for investors, explains Microsoft’s senior manager of external financial reporting in a new podcast available from XBRL US, the consortium of agencies and companies working to promote the technology.