XBRL, which stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is a language for electronic communication of business and financial data. Although it is not yet the language of business, there are signs that it will be in the future.
Most of the discussions about XBRL up to this point have been highly technical and not much use when talking about or even describing XBRL to non-technical staff, let alone clients. That is where this white paper The Business Case for XBRL from UBmatrix, comes in. It makes the business case for XBRL in terms the average businessperson can understand.
The paper begins with a discussion of the criteria used to any business reporting system, not just XBRL. This is followed by a summary of the benefits and background of XBRL. A business system with XBRL is compared to one without. Finally the benefits of XBRL are explored in greater detail along with four specific examples of XBRL in use.
XBRL-US is the U.S. jurisdiction of the international effort to develop and promote XBRL. XBRL-US is responsible for the XBRL technical and adoption activities throughout the country.
If a business needs to exchange information with another business, a regulatory body, or other entity, the need for XBRL or something like it is fairly obvious. Over the years, many different solutions have been proposed but no one standard has emerged. XBRL is beginning to look like it may be that standard, especially with the implementation of the Call Report Modernization Project which requires all banks to submit their quarterly call reports using XBRL beginning October 1 and the extension of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) voluntary filing initiative through EDGAR online.