New guide will help accountants prepare for iXBRL

20 July 2010

EXMOUTH, July 2010 – Digita, leading accountancy software developer and part of the Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting business, has produced a guide to iXBRL that is intended to help accountants prepare for the introduction of the new regime in April 2011.

The guide sets out the options for accountants and tax practitioners and explains the ‘tagging’ process for financial values and disclosure notes in a straight forward and logical manner.The guide will be useful for those accountants who have not yet examined their current working practices and need to review how they will be managed to ensure they are fully compliant.

A recent survey conducted by ICAS amongst its members suggests that as many as 50 per cent of accountants are still unsure how they will comply with the new iXBRL regime. One of the most serious challenges facing practices is how best to deal with ‘tagging’ accounts that have been produced using either Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. Where this is the case, accountants have three options, according to Digita. The first option is; they can use ‘mark-up’ software to manually tag account values. Option two; invest in an accounts production system that automatically tags the account values or, option three; use a hybrid solution that combines Microsoft Excel with a final accounts production system.

Digita Accounts Production, a comprehensive system developed by an award winning team is fast gaining market share at the expense of its competitors and is used by both major corporations and over 1000 accountancy practices, including two Top 20 firms. One of the key advantages of Digita is that its tax and accounting solutions can be used either as stand-alone systems or part of an integrated suite. Faced with a wide range of tools and solutions, the selection process can be daunting. With this in mind, Digita has compiled a short-list of five points to consider when drawing up an iXBRL IT strategy.

1. Check that your incumbent supplier is on track to deliver a fully compliant solution ahead of the deadline. Consider their past history and whether they keep to their delivery schedules and decide whether you trust them

2. Cut time by implementing integrated systems. Errors are diminished as a result of the links between the software and review reducing time as there is certainty over data exchange

3. If you plan to use a conversion tool to deal with externally produced accounts, consider the time implications for training staff on a new package. Look for developers that have a reputation for technologically advanced solutions and ‘intelligent’ software that will trigger an alert if tagging has not occurred. These tools are proven to minimise risk

4. Maximise productivity by implementing a flexible solution with a common interface that incorporates all three aspects:• Manual tagging• Intelligent conversion• Full automation

5. Embark on a system and process review and gear up for the new e-filing regime. Check with current providers for product timetables and roadmaps to ensure there is time to comply with the new requirements.

The Digita guide to iXBRL is available as a free download from

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS) survey

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