Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

XBRL

What it is:

XBRL stands for Extensible Business Reporting Language.

How it works (Example):

XBRL is a code through which companies and other entities can communicate business information. It is part of the XML (Extensible Markup Language) group of languages for preparing information for transmission or distribution via the internet. XML is open standard software, meaning that it is free of license fees.

XBRL puts a set of tags on data so that the computer can process the data. The coding also denotes whether a piece of data is a percentage, fraction or amount of currency. Because it is "extensible," companies and entities can customize it to meet their individual needs.

The Securities and Exchange Commission began requiring registered companies to use XBRL to submit their reports in 2003. In 2009, the SEC began requiring operating companies, mutual funds and credit rating agencies to do the same.

The language looks something like this:

For something like this:

Why it Matters:

XBRL doesn't just help entities put financial documents online; it helps investors and analysts search those documents. Today's disclosure documents (such as 10Ks and 10Qs) can be hundreds of pages long, and without the ability to search those documents, rifling through them for information can take quite a long time. The interactive data that XBRL provides makes it easier for investors and analysts to find information, make calculations and arrive at conclusions.

Related Terms View All
  • Auction Market
    Though most of the trading is done via computer, auction markets can also be operated via...
  • Best Execution
    Let's assume you place an order to buy 100 shares of Company XYZ stock. The current quote...
  • Book-Entry Savings Bond
    Savings bonds are bonds issued by the U.S. government at face values ranging from $50 to...
  • Break-Even Point
    The basic idea behind break-even point is to calculate the point at which revenues begin...
  • Calendar Year
    If Company XYZ starts its fiscal year on January 1 and ends its fiscal year on December...