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eXtensible Business Reporting Language
File extension : .xbrl
MIME type : application / xml
Developed by: XBRL International
Initial release: 12/31/2003
Type: Markup language
Extended by: XML
Standard (s) : XBRL 2.1 Specification
Website : xbrl.org

XBRL ( eXtensible Business Reporting Language ) is an XML- based language that is used to create electronic documents in the field of financial reporting . In particular, annual financial statements are generated in this language.

XBRL organization

The central XBRL organization is XBRL International , based in Clark , USA . XBRL International has well over a hundred international members from the private and public sectors and originally emerged from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Software providers, financial service providers and authorities are strongly represented.

Affiliated are national XBRL member organizations, so-called local jurisdictions, such as B. XBRL Germany eV, who are responsible for the introduction and support of XBRL at national level.

Board of Directors of XBRL International

The Board of Directors of XBRL International currently consists of:

  • Cees De Boer (Chairman), Deloitte , a UK accounting and advisory firm
  • Beju Shah, Bank of England (Data Collection and Publication Manager)
  • Robert M. Tarola, President of the US real estate agency Right Advisory LLC.
  • Mohammed Al-Hadari, Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), United Arab Emirates Financial Regulator
  • Leng Bing, Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China (Accounting Department )
  • Chao Li, Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China (and regulators)
  • Olga Goncharova, Bank Rossii , Central Bank of Russia (Accounting Processes Department)
  • Hans Buysse, Clairfield International, a Swiss mergers and acquisitions company
  • Philip Fitz-Gerald, Director of the Financial Reporting Lab (FRC), UK
  • Dato 'Zahrah Abd Wahab Fenner, CEO of the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM)
  • Michal Piechocki, CEO of the Business Reporting - Advisory Group (BR-AG) in Poland

Basics of XBRL

  • The basis is the XML recommendation of the W3C . XML is the syntax used by XBRL.
  • The XBRL specification from XBRL International is based on this. The XBRL specification defines the rules for XBRL taxonomies .
  • An XBRL taxonomy specifies the structure of a single XBRL document. XBRL taxonomies follow national law and are therefore created by local jurisdictions.
  • An XBRL document that transports data and complies with the rules of an XBRL taxonomy is called an XBRL instance document.

Benefits of Using the XBRL

The use of XML simplifies the evaluation, representation and processing of the data.

Since 1999, the development of the Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) has attempted to improve the creation and transmission of business data (business reporting), in particular using the World Wide Web . Possible recipients are e.g. B. Government agencies, accountants, investors and analysts. While the publication of business data in electronic form is a voluntary offer in many countries, companies in Germany that are required to keep accounts have been obliged since 2012 to prepare annual financial statements in XBRL format and to transmit them to the tax authorities as an e-balance sheet (Section 5b EStG).

Legal anchoring

Public companies in the USA and Canada are usually obliged to transmit business data to a central database above a certain size. Since 2009, the US Securities and Exchange Commission obliged SEC large companies, funds and agencies to deliver their data in XBRL.

In Germany, according to § 5b of the Income Tax Act (EStG), the electronic transmission of the balance sheet, the profit and loss account (P&L) and / or reconciliation based on the XBRL standard are required.


On the basis of XML, XBRL offers a freely available language for the technically and content-standardized exchange of information for business reporting. The aim of XBRL is to reduce inefficiencies in the process of data exchange and analysis and to facilitate the comparison and comparability of information. The first XBRL-based taxonomies show considerable potential for increasing efficiency in exchange and automated (key figure) analysis. However, they do not make it easier to compare or even compare the content of information in annual reporting.


Individual evidence

  1. Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) 2.1; Recommendation 31 December 2003 with errata corrections to 20 February 2013 . XBRL International . February 20, 2013. Archived from the original on June 1, 2014.
  2. https://www.xbrl.org/the-consortium/about/board-of-directors/
  3. ^ ORF: “Government data should save journalism”, July 2, 2010

Web links