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Technology for Financial Reporting - What You Need to Know














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Additional sources of information about XBRL

Several agencies and organizations provide additional resources and explanations.  

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How XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is Revolutionizing Financial Reporting


With so many sets of accounting principles and so many changes, investors can all too easily be overwhelmed by the volumes of information they need to digest to make sense out of financial reporting. The application of XBRL technology has the potential to cut through the complexities and provide comparable information. Below is a chronology of recent events that are helping to make the potential a reality across a number of different reporting frontiers.


Reporting by SEC Registrants - Proxy Reporting

Reporting by SEC Registrants - US GAAP

Reporting by SEC Registrants - IFRS

Mutual Fund Risks and Returns

Bank Reporting

Other Initiatives 


Proxy Reporting


July 14, 2010. The SEC released a concept proposal as part of a comprehensive relook at the US proxy voting system, through which more than 600 billion shares are voted at more than 13,000 shareholder meetings each year. Among other things, the proposal seeks comment on the use of data tagging for information included in proxy statements, such as information related to executive compensation and director qualifications.




June 14, 2011. The FASB released an online system that makes it easier to submit comments on the US GAAP taxonomy.


July 15, 2010. The FASB staff issued a "pre-release" version of the 2011 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy so interested parties can comment prior to the start of the official comment period. The official comment period is expected to commence in September when the FASB issues an updated version.  


February 5, 2010. The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) (the oversight body of the FASB) announced that it will assume responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of the US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy for XBRL applicable to public issuers registered with the SEC. The FAF and Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) will assemble a small team of technical staff dedicated to maintaining the taxonomy and will work towards the release of the next taxonomy update in early 2011.


December 10, 2009. The SEC recently launched a portal containing information on XBRL. The portal provides links to useful sources of information on XBRL, including guidance on creating and submitting XBRL interactive data. In addition, the portal is designed to assist companies in staying current on SEC developments regarding interactive data requirements.


October 8, 2009. The SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure issued a document containing staff observations based on a review of the initial interactive data submissions (XBRL).


October 8, 2009. The FASB announced that the FASB Accounting Standards CodificationTM now provides users with information about related XBRL elements.


June 10, 2009. The SEC held a Public Education Seminar on the XBRL reporting requirements. A webcast archive is available.


June 4, 2009. The SEC issued Frequently Asked Questions related to XBRL.


June 3, 2009. The SEC issued Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations related to XBRL.


April 3, 2009. The SEC released a small company compliance guide to interactive data for financial reporting (XBRL). 


January 2009. The SEC released a report on its "21st Century Disclosure Initiative." 




March 2011. The IASB published the 2011 IFRS taxonomy.


April 30, 2010. The IASB released the IFRS Taxonomy for 2010.  Both the tags IFRSs and those for IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs) have for the first time been integrated into a single taxonomy.


April 2, 2009. The IASB released the IFRS 2009 taxonomy and an exposure draft of the Due Process Handbook for XBRL Activities


Mutual Fund Risks and Returns


June 4, 2010. The SEC staff hosted an educational webcast to help mutual funds comply with new rules that require them to file data in the risk/return summary section of the prospectus using XBRL.


February 11, 2010. The SEC issued rules requiring mutual funds to provide risk/return summary information in XBRL. These requirements take effect January 1, 2011.


April 29, 2009. The SEC released a small entity compliance guide on its new requirements for mutual funds to provide the risk/return summary section of their prospectuses in XBRL format.


Bank Reporting


The Federal Reserve System announced plans to make quarterly bank financial reports available to the public through an Internet-based reporting system that will incorporate new technologies, including XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language). 


Other Initiatives


January 18, 2010. Recognizing the growing international use of XBRL, the staff of International Federation of Accountant's (IFAC) International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) developed a new question-and-answer publication, "XBRL: The Emerging Landscape." 


June 19, 2009. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) published a report on "XBRL: What's in it for Internal Auditors?"


April 28, 2009. The AICPA issued Statement of Position (SoP 09-1), "Performing Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements That Address the Completeness, Accuracy, or Consistency of XBRL-Tagged Data."














SEC reporting


SEC's concept release on the US proxy process


SEC's interactive data rule




News of online system for submitting comments


Pre-release version of 2011 taxonomy



FAF's release on the US GAAP taxonomy




SEC's portal



SEC staff observations




SEC's public education seminar



SEC's Small Company Guide

SEC's 21st Century Disclosure Initiative




2011 IFRS taxonomy

IFRS Taxonomy for 2010

IFRS Taxonomy for 2009

News release for 2009 IFRS Taxonomy


Mutual Fund reporting


Educational webcast

Final Rule and Compliance Guide

Spotlight on Mutual Fund Reporting


Bank reporting

Federal Reserve's release




XBRL: The Emerging Landscape


IIA's report