A few months ago, we conducted an online poll of its readers asking them to rate their knowledge of XBRL. Despite the significant amount of press that the emerging technology has received in the financial world, just three percent reported a strong level of understanding. And the overwhelming majority — 69 percent — admitted they had no knowledge of XBRL.
Given these findings, coupled with the fact that XBRL has gained significant momentum since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US, SmartPros has created an XBRL Primer for accountants. This primer provides a concise overview of eXtensible Business Reporting Language, answering the following questions:
- What is XBRL?
- How does it affect accountants?
- What are some recent XBRL developments that accountants need to know about?
- Where can I go for more information?
Armed with answers to these questions, we hope you will have a clear understanding of how XBRL impacts your job and career.
What is XBRL?
XBRL is a relatively simple technology to understand, even for those who don't consider themselves technology-adept.
- A technology for preparing, transmitting, and analyzing financial data
- Freely licensed and available to the public