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. Cash Flow Statement

    One of the quarterly financial reports any publicly traded company ...
  6. Corporate Governance

    The system of rules, practices and processes by which a company ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does transfer pricing help business?

    Transfer pricing involves the trade of goods or services between two related companies, and both can come out the winner. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do I calculate my effective tax rate using Excel?

    Your effective tax rate can be calculated using Microsoft Excel through a few standard functions and an accurate breakdown ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How important are contingent liabilities in an audit?

    Contingent liabilities, when present, are very important audit items because they normally represent risks that are easily ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does quantifying fixed overhead volume variance show whether a company is profitable ...

    Fixed overhead volume cannot definitively prove a company is profitable, but it can be used to provide an excellent indication ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What does inventory turnover tell an investor about a company?

    The inventory turnover ratio determines the number of times a company's inventory is sold and replaced over a certain period. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is a deferred tax liability?

    A deferred tax liability is an account that is listed on a company's balance sheet and occurs when its taxable income is ... 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

    What is Involved in Inventory Management?

    Inventory management refers to the theories, functions and management skills involved in controlling an inventory.
  6. Economics

    What are Noncurrent Assets?

    Noncurrent assets are property that a company owns that will last for more than one year.
  7. Investing Basics

    How Much Do CPAs Make?

    If you're considering becoming a CPA, here's what you might expect to earn.
  8. Economics

    Explaining Activity-Based Costing

    Activity-based costing (ABC) is a managerial accounting method that assigns certain indirect costs to the products incurring the bulk of those costs.
  9. Economics

    What is a Contra Account?

    A contra account is an offset that reduces the value of a related account.
  10. Economics

    What is an Impaired Asset?

    An impaired asset is one where the fair market value of the asset is less than the historical cost (or book value) of the asset.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Moving Average - MA

    A widely used indicator in technical analysis that helps smooth out price action by filtering out the “noise” from random ...
  2. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
  3. Productivity

    An economic measure of output per unit of input. Inputs include labor and capital, while output is typically measured in ...
  4. Variance

    The spread between numbers in a data set, measuring Variance is calculated by taking the differences between each number ...
  5. Terminal Value - TV

    The value of a bond at maturity, or of an asset at a specified, future valuation date, taking into account factors such as ...
  6. Rule Of 70

    A way to estimate the number of years it takes for a certain variable to double. The rule of 70 states that in order to estimate ...
Trading Center