Chapter 11. Evaluating Different Approaches to Implementing XBRL

In This Chapter

  • Implementing XBRL using different strategies

  • Discovering the right approach for you

  • Examining the realities that drive your decision

You already know what XBRL is. (If you don't, see Chapter 1.) You know you want to do something, but you're not sure what. You could use some clarification on your options for making use of XBRL. Guess what: You're in the right place.

This chapter covers the different approaches to implementing XBRL so that you can look at your specific environment and pick the approach that is right for you. We inventory the various approaches, breaking them into categories. We explain each approach and tell you their pros and cons. We don't tell you which approach is best for you: That decision is your job.

There is no right or wrong answer to implementing, or not implementing, XBRL. There are only mismatches between your desired result and the path you take. In this chapter, we help you understand the different paths and what is at the end of these paths. That way, you can decide what's right for you and your organization.

The Many Ways to Implement XBRL

We take all the different approaches to implementing XBRL and group them into categories. Here are the fundamental approaches that you can generally employ to implement XBRL:

  • Do nothing. Taking no action is, of course, an action.

  • Outsource the task of generating XBRL to an XBRL service provider.

  • Bolt on the ability to generate or receive XBRL ...

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