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. Balance Sheet

    A financial statement that summarizes a company's assets, liabilities ...
  5. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ...

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures ...
  6. Corporate Governance

    The system of rules, practices and processes by which a company ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some examples of general and administrative expenses?

    In accounting, general and administrative expenses represent the necessary costs to maintain a company's daily operations ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do dividend distributions affect additional paid in capital?

    Whether a dividend distribution has any effect on additional paid-in capital depends solely on what type of dividend is issued: ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why can additional paid in capital never have a negative balance?

    The additional paid-in capital figure on a company's balance sheet can never be negative because companies do not pay investors ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. When does the fixed charge coverage ratio suggest that a company should stop borrowing ...

    Since the fixed charge coverage ratio indicates the number of times a company is capable of making its fixed charge payments ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How often should a small business owner go through a bank reconciliation process?

    Small business owners should go through the bank reconciliation process at least monthly, and many business consultants recommend ... Read Full Answer >>
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. Fundamental Analysis

    Making Sense of Netflix's Balance Sheet

    Understand how to assess Netflix's performance based on the major components of its balance sheet.
  6. Economics

    Understanding the Top Line

    Top line refers to a company’s gross sales without any reductions for discounts or returns.
  7. Economics

    What's an Allowance for Doubtful Accounts?

    The allowance for doubtful accounts represents the percentage of the accounts receivable the company expects to write-off as uncollectible.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Understanding Activity Ratios

    Activity ratios measure how effectively a business uses its assets.
  9. Investing Basics

    What is Accrued Income?

    In a mutual fund, accrued income is earnings that have accumulated over the year, but have not yet been paid out to shareholders.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    Understanding Consolidated Financial Statements

    Consolidated financial statements are the combined financial statements of a parent company and its subsidiaries.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Topless Meeting

    A meeting in which participants are not allowed to use laptops. A topless meeting organizer can also ban the use of smartphones, ...
  2. Hedging Transaction

    A type of transaction that limits investment risk with the use of derivatives, such as options and futures contracts. Hedging ...
  3. Bogey

    A buzzword that refers to a benchmark used to evaluate a fund's performance. The benchmark is an index that reflects the ...
  4. Xetra

    An all-electronic trading system based in Frankfurt, Germany. Launched in 1997 and operated by the Deutsche Börse, the Xetra ...
  5. Nuncupative Will

    A verbal will that must have two witnesses and can only deal with the distribution of personal property. A nuncupative will ...
  6. OsMA

    An abbreviation for Oscillator - Moving Average. OsMA is used in technical analysis to represent the variance between an ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!