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As the rest of the world rushes to use XBRL for generating financial statements, it is becoming increasingly important for California CPAs to learn all they can about it.
XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is an open-source global standard for more transparent, reusable and interactive data. The idea behind XBRL 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 tag is computer readable. For example, company net profit has its own unique tag.
XBRL has brought regulators, CEOs/CFOs, the accounting profession, investors and the financial analyst community together around a common set of data elements that represent the health and potential of a business.
2009 XBRL taxonomies are live and available to be used on EDGAR. (July 20, 2009)
Why You Can't Ignore XBRL Any Longer
The Time Has Come —The SEC has voted to require public companies and mutual funds to use XBRL for financial information on a phased-in schedule beginning this year.
XBRL: A Magic Pill? —While it is still to be determined whether XBRL is a magic pill, read why the CEO of EDGAR Online believes XBRL steps us closer to a cure for financial complexity and overload.
Make Sense of Financial Reporting with XBRL(Pennsylvania CPA Journal)
Under a proposed law, all government agencies that require corporate reporting—not just the SEC—would have to collect and disseminate financial data with XBRL tags. (CFOmagazine)
The SEC Mandate for Interactive Data Technology, Rules and Solutions [PDF]
From the SEC: XBRL FAQs
The dictionaries used by XBRL that define the specific tags for individual items of data (such as "net profit").
Implementing a Process for XBRL Reporting [PDF]
Bringing Transparency to the
Mortgage-backed Securities Market [PDF]
(Philip Moyer, board member, XBRL US and president and CEO, EDGAR Online Inc.)
I•Metrix Suite of interactive data and analytical tools. [PDF]