Financial statements filed by listed companies may soon be available in multiple Indian languages to make it convenient for the retail investor to understand and analyse them.
The new feature is likely to be launched in December.
A source familiar with the development said the ministry of corporate affairs is working on the project, which would be made possible through a computer language called XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) that enables electronic communication of business and financial data. The technology will benefit all those who have to create, transmit, use or analyse information related to financial results.
The Reserve Bank of India has already asked all banks — public, private and foreign — to introduce XBRL while filing all their financial returns and statements by 2011.
“Once a company does the filing, it could get automatically translated into several other official languages with the help of this technology and could be displayed in a language which the user chooses,” a source familiar with the development told Hindustan Times.
However, this could be implemented in a phased manner. “The finer details are currently being worked out,” the source said.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is also working on the development and promotion of XBRL in the country. XBRL renders financial data ‘intelligent’ by providing computer-readable tags to each item. It does not treat financial information as a block of text.
The move would decode the filings of financial records in a major way and allow people across the country to be comfortable with the data.