Definition: eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)

Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange

An XML based framework that provides the financial community with a method to prepare, publish in a variety of formats, extract and exchange financial statements. It is expected to have major implications for all concerned with presentation and analysis of company accounts.  Development is led by a Steering Committee of over 100 organisations and corporations including the US Census Bureau. XBRL taxonomies already existed for some specific reporting schemes, such as US GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), and are under development for many others, including IAS (International Accounting Standards) and several national GAAPs
Source:
European Commission, JoinUp official website, "Description of the XBRL Reference Architecture", last consulted 8 March 2013
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