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Subject: Re: [xbrl-public] Re: [ebxml-dev] ebXML with XBRL Payload

From: Todd Boyle 

> Warning: this question is a troll of galactic proportions.  All of
> traditional accounting is about describing economic events, in
> the aggregate, while, all of the layers of ebXML above the
> messaging layer, are about describing them in their factual
> specific instances.  And there is a huge, intergalactic collision
> somewhere in the future, in the absence of formal work to align
> GAAP classifications with native transaction attributes.  You
> would need a truly automatic GAAP classification of most of
> the ordinary forms of trade, and at that point heck yes, the
> XBRL and ebXML vocabularies are a total overlapping collision.

Hesitant to feed the troll, but: two attempts to clarify issues:

1. As I think everybody in this thread is concluding,
ebXML components are meant to be independently
deployable.  That is, ebXML Messaging Service
doesn't care what payloads you use.

2. I agree with Todd about the difference between
traditional accounting describing economic events
in aggregate, and ebXML transactions dealing
with factually specific instances.  But there is
another difference, as well.  Traditional accounting
presents the internal viewpoint of one and only one 
trading partner, whereas ebXML must present
a neutral or external view suitable for both
trading partners involved in a transaction.  

(E.g. my cash receipt is your cash disbursement.)

So ebXML business collaboration models
will use Economic Event Type (e.g. Payment) 
instead of General Ledger Account Number.

But the mappings from Economic Event Types
to GAAP classifications are not very mysterious,
and lots of work has already been done by
Bill McCarthy and colleagues.

A plus:  if all external transactions were 
defined by standard Economic Event Types,
with standard mappings to GAAP classifications,
it might reduce some of the creative accounting
in the news...

(Not that I expect that to happen anytime soon...)

-Bob Haugen

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