eXtensible Business Reporting Language - XBRL

AAA

DEFINITION of 'eXtensible Business Reporting Language - XBRL'

A standard that was developed to improve the way in which financial data is communicated, making it easier to compile and share this data. XBRL is a type of XML (extensible markup language), which is a specification that is used for organizing and defining data. XBRL uses tags to identify each piece of financial data, which then allows it to be used programmatically by an XBRL-compatible program.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'eXtensible Business Reporting Language - XBRL'

Imagine that you are looking at a company's financial statements online on the company's website. Traditionally, these statements would simply be in plain text. If you wanted to put these numbers into a spreadsheet file to run analysis on the statements, you would have to either manually type or copy and paste each account and corresponding number into the spreadsheet. However, if the data on the site was available in XBRL, you could simply convert this data from the website into a spreadsheet program (usually instantaneously) that is XBRL compatible.

Due to the standardized nature of the identification tags and the language itself, financial data from one country, which has set accounting standards such as U.S. GAAP, can be easily compiled into the accepted accounting standards of another country even if they are drastically different. The reporting of financial data in XBRL is not required by all companies, but because it has become prevalent, it has been suggested that it won't be long before all companies will have to report their financial data in this language.

RELATED TERMS
  1. ASC X12

    The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 is a body that develops ...
  2. What-If Calculation

    Calculations for testing a financial model using different assumptions ...
  3. Extensible Markup Language - XML

    A flexible markup language for structured electronic documents. ...
  4. Financial Accounting

    The process of recording, summarizing and reporting the myriad ...
  5. Income Statement

    A financial statement that measures a company's financial performance ...
  6. Securities And Exchange Commission ...

    A government commission created by Congress to regulate the securities ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Learn More About Your Investments: Using XBRL In EDGAR

    This data-tagging system makes it easier than ever to research and analyze companies' financial information.
  2. Personal Finance

    Top 8 Ways Companies Cook The Books

    Find out more about the fraudulent accounting methods some companies use to fool investors.
  3. Markets

    Whisper Numbers: Should You Listen?

    These unofficial forecasts hold the potential for insider insight - and investment risk.
  4. Investing Basics

    Policing The Securities Market: An Overview Of The SEC

    Find out how this regulatory body protects the rights of investors.
  5. Investing Basics

    When do companies publish P&L statements?

    Understand what a company's P&L statement represents, and find out when companies traditionally publish these statements.
  6. Active Trading Fundamentals

    What is liquidity management?

    Take a look at the different definitions of liquidity, and find out how investors and businesses attempt to reduce exposure to liquidity risk.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    What is the difference between operating income and revenue?

    Understand the definitions of revenue and operating income, how they are calculated and interpreted, and how operating income is derived from revenue.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    What is the difference between gross margin and gross profit?

    Understand the difference in definitions between gross margin and gross profit, and learn what each represents as a metric of a company's profitability.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    What is the difference between operating income and net income?

    Understand the difference between operating income and net income, including the calculations and interpretations of each when reading a balance sheet.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    What is the difference between operating income and EBITDA?

    Read about the major differences between earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and operating income in a company's financial health.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Marketable Security

    Any equity or debt instrument that it readily salable and can be converted into cash, or exchanged with ease. Stocks, bonds, ...
  2. Risk-Free Rate Of Return

    The theoretical rate of return of an investment with zero risk. The risk-free rate represents the interest an investor would ...
  3. Scarcity

    The basic economic problem that arises because people have unlimited wants but resources are limited. Because of scarcity, ...
  4. Trust Fund

    A trust fund is a fund comprised of a variety of assets intended to provide benefits to an individual or organization. The ...
  5. Christmas Tree

    An options trading strategy that is generally achieved by purchasing one call option and selling two other call options at ...
  6. Christmas Club

    A short-term savings account that usually pays out the full account balance to its account holders once each year, right ...
Trading Center