XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is an XML-based computer language that enables faster processing of financial data. This amounts to a veritable revolution in the world of accounting. In simple terms, XBRL allows the assignment of a unique, machine-readable tag for every fact. Thanks to this tag, specific facts can be found from an unsorted cluster of figures and texts.
This leaves you more time for the actual analysis. Governments have been among the first to notice the benefits of increased process security and speed: in many countries, stock exchange supervisory authorities and/or tax authorities require corporate data in XBRL format.
In 2009, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) set a milestone for XBRL: with the “Interactive Data to Improve Financial Reporting” standard, the SEC gradually required about 9,000 companies to submit their financial reports in XBRL in the future. This revolution in stock exchange reporting facilitates the comparison of companies at the individual item level by anybody via the Internet and enables fully automated data flows and analyses of the annual financial statements by analysts and banks only minutes after their publication. After the USA, the authorities in numerous other countries also embraced the benefits of XBRL, e.g. the stock exchange supervisory authorities of the United Arab Emirates and of Turkey. Global status of XBRL implementation: