What is XBRL?
Based on XML, a standard means of communicating information on the Internet, XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is a specialized form of interactive data designed for businesses. It is a mechanism that allows business reports to be marked/tagged in such a way that the meaning of fact in the report is understandable and standardized. XBRL is specifically designed to provide rapid access to information. Investors and analysts want quicker access to financial information in a format they can easily use. EDGAR filings, containing financial data, have very limited search capabilities. The time for XBRL is here!
XBRL allows investors and analysts to pinpoint the exact information they want. This form of interactive data instantly compares itself to other companies’ data. Financial statistical comparisons are easily visualized based on performance, industry averages, etc.
DG3 XBRL Workflow
Element – A defined fact inside a taxonomy.
Extension – A company defined line item that is based on a current taxonomy. It is a taxonomy that extends to an existing base taxonomy.
Instance Document – Financial statements or business reports which have been tagged in XBRL.
Interactive Data – The use of technology to access information that provides investors and analysts with disseminated information in a format they can easily use and understand.
Label(s) – The full description for each of the elements contained in the taxonomy.
Linkbase – Defines a relationship that specifies the rules used to calculate each financial fact in a report. Linkbases and schemas define a taxonomy.
Schema – The definition of what type of data is being reported (e.g., reporting period, profit/loss, etc.).
Tag – The association of XBRL elements with financial statement items.
Taxonomies – The rules and format that describe the required information in financial statements and business information. Taxonomies for financial statements are based on US GAAP. There are five different types of taxonomies (real estate, broker/dealer, banking & savings, insurance, commercial/industrial).
US GAAP – Generally Accepted Accounting Principles as defined by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) – A form of business reporting language for financial statements and business information.