eXtensible Business Reporting Language, abbreviated as XBRL, refers to the language of financial data and electronic business communication that aims at transforming business reporting worldwide. It provides benefits in the analysis, communication, and preparation of business information. According to experts at BoardRoom, it often provides improved reliability/accuracy, high efficiency, and cost savings for those involved in using or providing financial information.
XBRL is a very versatile language used to cover elements of reporting in various industries and nations. Because of that, it is customized to match different business demands because of being extensible. Some of the features that XBRL can be customized to have are:
- Compliance – Enables companies to comply with regulatory requirements for regulatory filings and financial reporting.
- Cost-effective – Basically, XBRL software is designed to be cost-effective for analysis, compliance, and reporting.
- Machine-readable – XBRL information is simply machine-readable, enabling easy analysis and extraction of data.
- Granularity – It enables the inclusion of data, making it very possible to drill down to a specific data point in the financial reports.
- Consistency – It often uses a common set of elements or tags to describe financial data, making it comparable and consistent across various companies.
- Interoperability – It allows the sharing of financial data between various software applications. It also allows easy integration of data into different other systems.
- Extensibility – Customized XBRL allows for the creation of new elements or tags to be included in the existing taxonomy. This makes it much easier to adapt to reporting requirements.
Who Can Use XBRL?
Over 600 member organizations from the public and private sectors support the XBRL consortium. The standard has already been refined and developed over more than ten years and often supports nearly all kinds of reporting and, at the same time, provides various features, which enhance the consistency and quality of reports. XBRL is normally used for various purposes by accountants, investors/analysts, data providers, governments, companies, and regulators.
ACRA’s Reason for Promoting XBRL Filing
XBRL filing services aim to gather financial information in a data repository that ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) maintains and analyzes so as to fathom every economic trend in the market.
ACRA insists on using the XBRL filing format to gather data in a more structured manner. Plus, receiving and transmitting structured information using computers is very convenient. Gathering easy-to-read information is ACRA’s aim and allows data analysis and automation.
Managing XBRL Filing and Reporting through ACRA
Apart from those excluded explicitly, every Singaporean corporation must submit their financial statements to ACRA of Singapore as part of their annual filing statements. These financial statements for private and public businesses are often submitted in the XBRL format.
Companies that have been limited by international corporations, as well as their subsidiaries, often submit vital financial information in the XBRL format, and a full set of PDF copies are presented or distributed to members at AGMs. However, sole proprietorships and partnerships aren’t all expected to submit a financial statement to ACRA.
How to Manage XBRL
Financial statements compliant with IFRS are usually submitted using XRL format. Companies globally use this format since it is much easier to process a lot of quantitative data and creates a structure required for financial reporting, which is considered standard. To manage XBRL filing and reporting with ACRA, you will need to follow these tips:
- Prioritizing XBRL
- Outsourcing the service to experts
- Familiarizing yourself with changes that ACRA made
- Decommission of preparation tools
Tools and Resources for XBRL Filing
When filing XBRL, having the right tools and resources will make a great difference. From online tutorials and guides to software solutions, which simplify the process, many options can help you navigate complex reporting requirements. So, ensure accuracy, stay organized, and save time using those invaluable resources and tools.
When seeking XBRL filing services, you will need to attach several documents. Some of the documents you will need to attach are:
- Consolidate financial statement
- Boards’ report
- Cash flow statement
- Balance sheet
- Loss and profit statement
Benefits of XBRL
XBRL provides enormous benefits. This language enables business organizations to compile financial statements, which comply with the existing accounting standards. The tags for reported data don’t just make statements stay compliant with specific standards in Singapore. It also enables users to understand the true meaning of every data in the report. This, in turn, enables investors and regulators to verify the dependability and accuracy of the data provided. Apart from that, XBRL also guarantees the following benefits:
1. It is Comprehensive and Inclusive
A few domains for business filing and reporting can also be accommodated. Apart from XBRL and business financial reporting, it as well provides the purpose of operation and performance reporting in most cases. Other areas may include sustainability reporting, transaction-based reporting, and internal reporting.
2. Minimize the Importance of Entering Data Manually
Most businesses still depend on manual steps to review and prepare financial statements, which are time-consuming and carry the risks of data entry errors. In addition, XBRL minimizes business reliability on review processes and such manual inputs. Ultimately, this means more time will be spent on analyzing data.
3. Data Analysis and Consumption
Data users who receive information electronically in the XBRL format can easily automate its handling, reducing costly/time-consuming collation and information re-entry.
Software may as well validate the data immediately, highlighting gaps and errors that can be addressed right away. This also helps process, select, and analyze the data for reuse.
4. Save Money
Using XBRL enables organizations to save cash by minimizing the time spent aggregating or entering data manually into reports. In addition, XBRL reports have also proven more helpful and secure than traditional methods since they aren’t easy to tamper with. Not to mention, this language enables users to have access to data in multiple currencies and languages.
Engaging an Expert is the Key
To prepare XBRL-based financial reports and statements, you must do the mapping. This will include matching information in the AGM’s financial reports to relevant concepts in the taxonomy.
XBRL conversation often needs familiarity and technical knowledge. For that reason, it is important to enlist the services of an expert to ensure you achieve your goals.