What is XBRL?
eXtensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, is an interactive data, computer-readable format that encodes specific data with standardized identifying tags, making it easier to retrieve, analyze, compare and repurpose that data than is possible with paper or flat electronic formats such as ASCII or HTML. The extensibility of the language allows for its adaptation to meet the unique requirements of different companies and organizations. XBRL documents consist of an interactive data file, also known as an instance document, which contains data tagged with concepts from the U.S. GAAP or taxonomy, or, for mutual fund companies, The Risk/Return taxonomy, and supporting schema and linkbase files, which establish various relationships within the instance document. Taxonomies can be thought of as dictionaries containing the concepts to be applied to data.
The SEC and XBRL
The SEC has adopted a final rule and amendments for corporate issuers to provide to the SEC and on their corporate web sites the facing sheets of their financial statements, notes to financial statements and financial statement schedules under Article 12 of Regulation S-X in interactive data format using XBRL.
The SEC has adopted a final rule and amendments for investment management companies requiring all open-end mutual funds registered on Form N-1A to provide to the SEC and on their web site items 2, 3 and 4 of the Risk/Return summary in interactive data using XBRL.
The interactive data requirements do not change disclosure requirements under the federal securities laws and regulations, but add a requirement to include, along with the traditionally formatted documents, supplemental exhibit documents in XBRL format, attached as new Exhibits 101.