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. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ...

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures ...
  6. Income Statement

    A financial statement that measures a company's financial performance ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How is accounting in the United States different from international accounting?

    Despite major efforts by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, and the International Accounting Standards Board, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the variance/covariance matrix or parametric method in Value at Risk (VaR)?

    The parametric method, also known as the variance-covariance method, is a risk management technique for calculating the value ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How are transfer prices set?

    The United States, like most nations, does not want to allow transfer pricing methods that reduce the amount of taxes the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is backtesting in Value at Risk (VaR)?

    The value at risk is a statistical risk management technique that monitors and quantifies the risk level associated with ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Which financial statements are most important when performing ratio analysis?

    Financial ratio analysis is an important aspect of fundamental analysis for any party engaged in value investing. Financial ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do I discount Free Cash Flow to the Firm (FCFF)?

    Discounted free cash flow for the firm (FCFF) should be equal to all of the cash inflows and outflows, adjusted to present ... 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. Economics

    Understanding Carrying Value

    Carrying value is the value of an asset as listed on a company’s balance sheet. Carrying value is the same as book value.
  6. Economics

    International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

    International Financial Reporting Standards are accounting rules and guidelines governing the reporting of different types of accounting transactions.
  7. Economics

    Explaining Property, Plant and Equipment

    Property, plant and equipment are company assets that are vital to business operations, but not easily liquidated.
  8. Economics

    How to Calculate Trailing 12 Months Income

    Trailing 12 months refers to the most recently completed one-year period of a company’s financial performance.
  9. Economics

    What is Unearned Revenue?

    Unearned revenue can be thought of as a "pre-payment" for goods or services which a person or company is expected to produce to the purchaser.
  10. Investing Basics

    What is Capital Stock?

    Capital stock refers to the number of authorized shares a corporation may issue, both common and preferred.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Fixed-Income Arbitrage

    An investment strategy that attempts to profit from arbitrage opportunities in interest rate securities. When using a fixed-income ...
  2. Venture-Capital-Backed IPO

    The selling to the public of shares in a company that has previously been funded primarily by private investors. The alternative ...
  3. Merger Arbitrage

    A hedge fund strategy in which the stocks of two merging companies are simultaneously bought and sold to create a riskless ...
  4. Market Failure

    An economic term that encompasses a situation where, in any given market, the quantity of a product demanded by consumers ...
  5. Unsystematic Risk

    Company or industry specific risk that is inherent in each investment. The amount of unsystematic risk can be reduced through ...
  6. Security Market Line - SML

    A line that graphs the systematic, or market, risk versus return of the whole market at a certain time and shows all risky ...
Trading Center