The flow of information from one point to another is important to keep the ecosystem intact, especially in the financial world. Regulators need it to regulate the enterprises; investors need it to analyze the enterprise’s performance and take an investment decision. However, the effectiveness of reporting of business information lies in the speed of consumption by the users of data. The faster the consumption, the better the regulation – and transparency. Undoubtedly the transformation from paper format to an online format such as HTML and PDF has led to a faster flow of information to recipients. However, it still hasn’t resolved the challenge of converting the data from a readable format to an interactive format by deploying significant resources on the beneficiary’s side using tools like Excel. Reduction of resources would slow down the process of conversion and result in data redundancy. Apart from the considerable time involved in consuming the data, there is also a risk of inconsistency among the users in the way the data is converted.
Then came XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language), a globally accepted standard for exchanging business information that has revolutionized the financial world. To explain XBRL in simple terms, it is an interactive data format, as opposed to basic readable formats like HTML, PDF etc., that provides the consumers of reports with insights rather than just information. Reportable information can be standardized using the taxonomy (of course with diligent accounting judgment in choosing the right concept) resulting in a better comparison of data across various enterprises, geographies and business segments in no time.
Let us look at some of the challenges that XBRL resolves.
There are many uses of XBRL, and the above are just a couple of examples, but important in our opinion. Transparency and accountability are not just about making data available on time but also about data being consumable on time. XBRL does this job quite brilliantly. We at DataTracks provide a range of XBRL solutions to fit different regions and regulations and are happy to join hands with the XBRL community in making the financial world a better place with accountability and transparency.
About DataTracks: DataTracks US is part of DataTracks Services Limited, leaders worldwide in preparation of financial statements in EDGAR HTML, XBRL and iXBRL formats for filing with regulators. With a track record of over 10 years, DataTracks prepares more than 12,000 XBRL statements annually for filing with regulators such as SEC in the United States, HMRC in the United Kingdom, Revenue in Ireland, ACRA in Singapore and MCA in India.
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