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.

BREAKING DOWN '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. Balance Sheet

    A financial statement that summarizes a company's assets, liabilities ...
  2. ASC X12

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

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

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

    The process of recording, summarizing and reporting the myriad ...
  6. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ...

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures ...
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

    Calculating Return on Net Assets

    Return on net assets measures a company’s financial performance.
  6. Credit & Loans

    What's a Nonperforming Loan?

    A nonperforming loan is any borrowed sum where the borrower has failed to pay scheduled payments for at least 90 days.
  7. Economics

    Understanding Cost of Revenue

    The cost of revenue is the total costs a business incurs to manufacture and deliver a product or service.
  8. Economics

    Understanding Cash and Cash Equivalents

    Cash and cash equivalents are items that are either physical currency or liquid investments that can be immediately converted into cash.
  9. Economics

    Explaining Carrying Cost of Inventory

    The carrying cost of inventory is the cost a business pays for holding goods in stock.
  10. Investing

    How To Calculate Minority Interest

    Minority interest calculations require the use of minority shareholders’ percentage ownership of a subsidiary, after controlling interest is acquired.
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 >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Stock Market Crash

    A rapid and often unanticipated drop in stock prices. A stock market crash can be the result of major catastrophic events, ...
  2. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  3. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  4. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
  5. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  6. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
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!