What is XBRL?

From 2020, issuers on EU regulated markets are required to prepare their IFRS annual financial reporting in a European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) according to the XBRL format. Deloitte can provide insights in financial and non-financial reporting, processes, technology and organisation.

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language and is an open, international standard for the exchange of financial and non-financial information in digital form. The computer-based language enables the electronic communication of structured business data by providing a machine-readable tag. This tag is similar to a bar code so that each individual disclosure is uniquely identifiable and can be manipulated by a computer programme that can recognise the tags. The technology makes reporting more standardised and enables computer systems to automatically recognise and process data throughout the entire reporting chain. This simplifies the delivery of digital reports to various parties and enables better access of information for analyses and benchmarking purposes.

XBRL benefits

  • Greater accuracy: XBRL makes the analysis and exchange of corporate financial information more reliable because your computer application accesses data directly.
  • Reusing data: XBRL-tagged reports allow organisations to share and reuse data in business reports more easily, both internally and with other organisations.
  • Better data management: The XBRL framework gives you the power to systematically manage and check data. Information can be monitored in real time, enhancing validation.
  • Easier document reading: XBRL taxonomies can enable your computer to read any document. If you only speak Chinese or French, you can collect and reassemble data from documents written in Finnish or Welsh if they are XBRL-tagged.

The mandating of XBRL by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has paved the way for the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to implement the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF).

Learn more about Deloitte's XBRL services.
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