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

XBRL organization

The central organization is XBRL XBRL International, based in the USA. XBRL International has well over a hundred international members from the private and public sectors. Strongly represented are software providers, financial institutions and government agencies.

Attached are national XBRL member organizations, so-called local jurisdictions, such as Germany eV eg XBRL, which are responsible for the implementation and support of XBRL at the national level.

Basics of XBRL

  • The basis is the XML Recommendation of the W3C. XML is the syntax that is used by XBRL.
  • It relies on the XBRL specification of XBRL International. 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 thus created by local jurisdictions.
  • An XBRL document, which transports data and comply with the rules of XBRL taxonomy, ie XBRL instance document.

Benefits of using the XBRL

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

Since 1999, attempts by the development of Extensible Business Reporting Language ( XBRL ), the creation and transmission of business information (business reporting), in particular using the World Wide Web to improve. Potential recipients are as government bodies, auditors, investors and analysts. While in many countries is the release of company data in electronic form as a voluntary offer, accountancy companies subject in Germany since 2012 committed financial statements in XBRL format to create and submit to the tax authorities (so-called " e- balance " § 5b ITA).

Public companies in the U.S. and Canada are above a certain size usually required to submit financial data to a central database. Since 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission undertakes large companies, funds and agencies to deliver their data in XBRL.


XBRL offers based on a freely available XML language for the technical and content standardized exchange of information of business reporting. Goal of XBRL is to reduce inefficiencies in the process of data exchange and analysis, and to facilitate the comparison and comparability of information. First XBRL -based taxonomies have significant potential to increase efficiency in the exchange and automated ( KPI ) analysis to recognize. But they do not contribute to an easier comparison, or even content, comparability of information from the business reporting.