A FLEXIBLE LANGUAGE
XBRL is a flexible XML-based language for business information exchange, that allows clear definition (via XBRL taxonomies) of the business terms that are transmitted, as well as testable business rules for the content of the document or report, and support for multiple languages (via XBRL linkbases).
If you are not familiar with these terms, check out our Standards Training
page where you'll find information about our online and face to face courses on XBRL, iXBRL and XML.
Regulators in each country use taxonomies for the definition of their respective business terms. For example, in US companies report to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) using the US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy
, while in many other jurisdictions IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standard)
is slowly becoming the de facto global standard for financial reporting. US GAAP and IFRS are both, as well as many other taxonomies around the work, based on XBRL, so the reported financial data could be analysed in a similar way (exception making the so called 'extensions' that are company specific in US).
In Australia, the SBR (Standard Business Reporting)
platform was created by a consortium of regulators, including the Treasury and all major agencies e.g. ATO, ASIC, APRA, ABS and many others, to revolutionise digital reporting. The IFRS AU Taxonomy is the SBR backbone on which Australian financial reporting is based. IFRS AU Taxonomy is based on IFRS International Taxonomy and includes a number of other fields, specific to Australian companies or to Australian regulatory requirements. The main difference between Australian and US approach is that Australia does not allow companies to extend the IFRS AU with other, company specific, fields, which makes the reporting and the analysis much coordinated and simpler.