7 Facts Accountants Need to Know About XBRL

With the inclusion of Nota integrative (Notes to Accounts) in the XBRL bilancio 2015 ( XBRL Report 2015) filing, the compliance reporting of a million companies in Italy has become more complex. Company accountants across the country are burdened with the new responsibility of finding the best XBRL tool for XBRL 2015 filing. However, before choosing the optimum tool for preparing bilancio (report) 2015, you need to know these 7 facts about XBRL.

1. XBRL is a Reporting Standard: XBRL is a standard for the electronic communication of business and financial data. It makes the financial data interactive and hence easier for systems to assimilate and make available for use.

2. XBRL is a Dictionary for Financial Communication: XBRL is essentially a dictionary of “tags” that can be applied to each element in a financial statement. This informs the standard software what an item represents and how it relates to other items in the report, much like a barcode.

3. XBRL Makes Data Understandable: XBRL is developed to make the data system understandable. It provides context to the information, making the data almost self-explanatory.

4. XBRL Makes Data Comparable: Wherever the XBRL data moves, it carries along with it the context, which makes it intelligent, and thus any software application can interpret and process the data. This allows users to compare the data of one company with other across industries, geographies, or periods.

5. XBRL Gives Clean Data: Along with the basic attributes, interrelationships among the data can also be stored in a system-readable manner. Thus, XBRL can hold the calculations among the various data points or how they should be displayed, and so on. Also, validation rules for data can be defined using XBRL which further ensures the accuracy of the reported data.

6. XBRL Breaks Language Barriers: In the current scenario where businesses are moving beyond geographical limits, XBRL can provide labels of any language to the core information. Thus, you can break language barriers, opening the gates for foreign investors.

7. XBRL is Customizable: Apart from all these qualitative features, the last and most important feature of XBRL is extensibility, adapting XBRL to cater to specific reporting requirements. Any type of unstructured information, which is collected from multiple formats and sources, can be made structured using XBRL.

Because of these easy and customizable features, XBRL is now preferred as a standard for business and financial reporting worldwide. It is rapidly spreading across the world with increasing participation from countries and international organizations.

XBRL Adoption Worldwide

Across the world, around 42 countries have already adopted XBRL in some shape or form for regulatory reporting including central banks, business registrars, tax authorities, market regulators, and stock exchanges.

“We are creating market enablement— we are creating a standard that will allow the market to exchange information more efficiently, with greater transparency and interoperability, with more efficient flow of capital,” says XBRL Europe’s O’Kelly. “But we can’t predict what the market will do with these capabilities. It’s like creating the MP3 format: the developers knew it worked to play music files, but they couldn’t have envisioned Napster or iTunes. The role of international developers is just to make sure there is a robust, scalable, interoperable open standard for the market to use in whatever ways it will find.” (Source: http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2008/Oct/XBRLAroundTheWorld.htm)

XBRL Adoption in Italy

In Italy, UnionCamere has been the pioneer in embracing XBRL. The first mandate was rolled out in 2009 and from 2015 the companies are required to file Nota Integrativa (Notes to Accounts) in XBRL for bilancio (Financial Report) 2015. Read on to find out more on Nota Integrativa Reporting: XBRL 2015 Simplified

Get in touch with us today if you’re looking to produce high-quality XBRL reports.


IRIS Business Services (Asia) Pte. Ltd., Singapore

IRIS Business Services, LLC, USA

Atanou S.r.l. (Italy)

IRIS Logix Solutions Private Limited, India

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