Definition: XBRL Extensible Business Reporting Language
EXtensible Business Reporting Language or XBRL is a freely available computer language used for electronic exchange of business information. In the current scenario of internet having occupied a major place in business activities, it is imperative for a standard means or platform for analysis and communication of business information. XBRL finds particular usage in communication of financial data viz. balance sheets, budget statements. Organisations like Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the US, the IFRS foundation have adopted XBRL as a standard form of communication.
In India, the organisation XBRL India has been set up. RBI, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and SEBI have adopted XBRL. Plan is under way for adoption of XBRL by big-shot Indian companies in the first phase of its implementation.
By nature, XBRL belongs to the family of XML languages. It follows a mark-up type language format. Currently, version 2.1 of the language is in place. An XBRL document structure consists of two main elements:
1. XBRL Instance: This part mainly contains the business facts to be reported.
2. XBRL Taxonomy: It has a collection of taxonomies describing what the facts mean and how these relate to one another. It does so with the help of five types of ‘linkbases’ (label, reference, calculation, definition, presentation) which label and link concepts to useful resources.