Introduction to XBRL
New Language for Financial Reporting Mandatory for some companies to file Balance sheet in XBRL format from FY 2010-11 and Onwards.
Do you understand Chinese, Japanese, Malayalam or Kannada? Most of us do not understand them. English is the standard language all over the world. When we talk about reporting, everyone is using different formats and means like Excel, Word, PDF etc. Take for example, Annual Reports of Companies. Schedule VI permits preparation of balance sheet in both horizontal and vertical format. Most of us make it in Excel and Word but in different ways. Someone makes Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Account, Notes and Grouping on a single Excel Sheet. Another may use different excel sheets. Some other may use only Notes and not Grouping. Then terminology may vary. One may use the word "Sundry Debtors" and someone else may refer to it by "Receivables". How can a non-accounting person or a computer know that both mean the same. In short, there is no standardisation. This makes analysis of balance sheets of different companies very difficult. It seems that we take the tag of Unity in Diversity used for our country too seriously in reporting also.