XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. This simply means that this is a language for business reporting that can be added to if it does not have the correct concepts for what you are trying to report. XBRL is a collection of computer-readable tags that can be applied to financial statements and other business data. For example, there is a unique tag for ‘Revenue’ and another different tag for ‘Share Capital’.
XBRL uses dictionaries, known as taxonomiesTaxonomies are dictionaries, or lists, of accounting terms as defined by a specific accounting standard (e.g. IAS, IFRS, GAAP etc.)., to group financial concepts, or elementsElements are financial concepts, like Revenue or Marketing Expenses. Elements contain several pieces of information (e.g. the element name, balance type and the element definition)., together. A taxonomy defines a tag for an item of business data, its properties and its relationships to other elements.
iXBRLiXBRL stands for Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language. It is a module that puts the XBRL tags inside an XHTML document (i.e. a webpage) so that it can be read and analysed by other software. is the placing of these XBRL tags inside an XHTML webpageXHTML is similar to the normal HTML that people use to create webpages, but it has much more restrictive requirements about how it has to be written. This makes it perfect for adding XBRL details to the markup language. so that software can read and analyse the tagged data. It is extremely important that the financial data and applied tags are accurate as software may not be able to compensate for errors in the same way that a human reader could.
What does XBRL actually look like in my document?
To the human eye, an iXBRL version of your financial statement (i.e. the files you will be submitting will look the same as a PDF print-out. But, if we look at the XHTML code, we will see that the XBRL tags are attached to the numbers.
You can try this yourself by following the instructions below to see what happens we tag a number with the ifrs-full:Revenue tag.
- Download the iXBRL demo file from our support site
- Open the webpage in a supported web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari)
- Right click on the number (20.9) and select Inspect from the menu
- Click the expand arrow next to the span and scroll down
- Here you can see the XBRL tag embedded in the XHTML page (thereby creating an iXBRL document). There is lots of information here including the name of the tag, the number format of the tag, its scale and rounding. Click here for more information about the data attached to each XBRL tag.
You don’t need to look at any code to see how the XBRL tags you’ve applied look in your document. You will create a preview version of your file when you download your final report from the server or use the Export ESEF Report function in the Tagger. Click here for more information about creating and using this preview file.