Chapter 1. Wrapping Your Head Around XBRL

In This Chapter

  • Discovering how XBRL is changing business reporting

  • Revealing the truth about XBRL

  • Figuring out how to make XBRL work for you

  • Discovering good reasons for considering XBRL

  • Bridging the information gap between business systems

You may have heard about XBRL, but have no idea what it is — only that you need to start using it. If that's the case, you're in the right place. In this chapter, we journey into the world of XBRL by giving you all the things you need to get your head around XBRL in the form of a conceptual overview. We explain what XBRL is, describe the environment that it fits into, give you some examples of who is using it and why, what benefits it provides, and what it might take for you to start using XBRL. Basically, in this chapter, we define a framework that you can use to get your head around XBRL and leave it to other chapters to drill into the details.

Answering the Question, "Why XBRL?"

Now that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mandates the use of XBRL, stock exchanges around the world use it, and it's officially supported by the European Parliament as well as the governments of the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Japan, India, and China. The Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is pretty much undeniably a global standard for business reporting. Obviously, XBRL is here to stay.

Your business operates on information, so you need to know the fundamentals of XBRL. This collection ...

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