XBRL Fact Sheet

Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), formerly code named XFRML, is an open specification that uses XML-based data tags to describe financial statements for both public and private companies. XBRL benefits all members of the financial information supply chain.


  • A standards-based method with which users can prepare, publish (in a variety of formats), exchange and analyze financial statements and the information they contain.
  • Freely licensed, permits the automatic exchange and reliable extraction of financial information across all software formats and technologies, including the Internet.
  • Ultimately benefits all users of the financial information supply chain: public and private companies, the accounting profession, regulators, analysts, the investment community, capital markets and lenders, as well as key third parties such as software developers and data aggregators.
  • Does not require a company to disclose any additional information beyond that which they normally disclose under existing accounting standards. Does not require a change to existing accounting standards.
  • Improves access to financial information/speeds up access
  • Reduces need to enter financial information more than one time, reducing the risk of data entry error and eliminating the need to manually key information for various formats, (printed financial statement, an HTML document for a company’s Web site, an EDGAR filing document, a raw XML file or other specialized reporting formats such as credit reports and loan documents) thereby lowering a company's cost to prepare and distribute its financial statements while improving investor or analyst access to information.
  • Leverages efficiencies of the Internet as today’s primary source of financial information by making Web browser searches more accurate and relevant. (More than 80% of major US public companies provide some type of financial disclosure on the Internet.)
  • XBRL meets the needs of today's investors and other users of financial information by providing accurate and reliable information to help them make informed financial decisions.

XBRL was developed by the international XBRL Project Committee made up of companies representing the financial information supply chain including: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Arthur Andersen LLP; Best Software; CaseWare International; Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants; Cohen Computer Consulting; Crowe, Chizek and Company, LLP; Deloitte & Touche, LLP; e-content, a division of Interleaf, Inc.; EDGAR Online, Inc.; Epicor Software Corporation; Ernst & Young, LLP; FRx Software Corporation; Grant Thornton LLP; Great Plains; Hyperion; International Accounting Standards Committee; IBM; Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia; Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales; Institute of Management Accountants; KPMG, LLP; Lawson Software; Microsoft Corporation; Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; Navision Software; Oracle Corporation; PPA GmbH; PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP; Reuters Group PLC; Sage Software; SAP AG; Standard & Poor's; Texsys RD and The Woodburn Group

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