Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

XBRL to streamLine Financial Reporting

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

XBRL to streamLine Financial Reporting

Article excerpt

The first version of a new web reporting language, released in June, promises to simply viewing financial data online. Version 1.0 of the Extensible Business Reporting Language, XBRL, is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), customized for financial reporting.

XBRL's development was led by the American Institute of Certified. Public Accountants and a consortium of technology and accounting firms. The group created a "common taxonomy" (classification) of financial terms to automate some types of financial reporting.

XML uses tags to give context and structure to Internet content and support content repurposing. The objective of XBRL, say its proponents, is to apply existing accounting Logic to XML by using commonly defined tags--those electronic designators that let data be identified for transport from proprietary systems to browsers or software packages for easy viewing and analysis.

If the consortium can convince businesses and financial services firms to adopt the taxonomy, which include 1,600 standardized tags, this will be the first step toward enabling a universal exchange and sharing of data. …

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