An Introduction to XBRL
XBRL is a language for the electronic communication of business and financial data which is revolutionising business reporting around the world. It provides major benefits in the preparation, analysis and communication of business information. It offers cost savings, greater efficiency and improved accuracy and reliability to all those involved in supplying or using financial data.
XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. It is one of a family of "XML" languages which is becoming a standard means of communicating information between businesses and on the internet.
XBRL is being developed by an international non-profit consortium of approximately 450 major companies, organisations and government agencies. It is an open standard, free of licence fees. It is already being put to practical use in a number of countries and implementations of XBRL are growing rapidly around the world.
A Simple Explanation
The idea behind XBRL, eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is simple. Instead of treating financial information as a block of text - as in a standard internet page or a printed document - it provides an identifying tag for each individual item of data. This is computer readable. For example, company net profit has its own unique tag.
The introduction of XBRL tags enables automated processing of business information by computer software, cutting out laborious and costly processes of manual re-entry and comparison. Computers can treat XBRL data "intelligently": they can recognise the information in a XBRL document, select it, analyse it, store it, exchange it with other computers and present it automatically in a variety of ways for users. XBRL greatly increases the speed of handling of financial data, reduces the chance of error and permits automatic checking of information.
Companies can use XBRL to save costs and streamline their processes for collecting and reporting financial information. Consumers of financial data, including investors, analysts, financial institutions and regulators, can receive, find, compare and analyse data much more rapidly and efficiently if it is in XBRL format.
XBRL can handle data in different languages and accounting standards. It can flexibly be adapted to meet different requirements and uses. Data can be transformed into XBRL by suitable mapping tools or it can be generated in XBRL by appropriate software.
Benefit to a company
Increases the utility of financial statement information.
The need to re-key financial data for analytical and other purposes can be eliminated.
Companies can automate data collection.
Reports can be produced with minimum efforts.
Removes time-consumption, error-prone processes as well as performs accuracy checks on software.
General Circular No. 09/2011
It has been decided by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to mandate certain class of companies to file balance sheets and profit and loss account for the year 2010-11 onwards by using XBRL taxonomy. The Financial Statements required to be filed in XBRL format would be based upon the Taxonomy on XBRL developed for the existing Schedule VI, as per the existing, (non converged) Accounting Standards notified under the Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules, 2006.
Coverage in Phase I
The following class of companies has to file the Financial Statements in XBRL Form only from the year 2010-2011:-
(i) All companies listed in India and their subsidiaries, including overseas subsidiaries;
(ii) All companies having a paid up capital of Rs. 5 Crore and above or a Turnover of Rs 100 crore or above.
Thanks & Regards,
CA Dhiraj Satnalika
CA, CS, B. Com(H)