Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), formerly code-named XFRML
, is a freely available electronic language for financial reporting.
The key to XFRML's usability will be in its acceptance by all major producers and users of financial information, and its utilization by makers of financial software.
XFRML is intended to be, in the words of the AICPA site, "the digital language of business." Analysts will benefit from the ability to automate their processes and customize the way they receive information.
This will allow for the feedback necessary before the first version of XFRML can be launched.
When fully developed, XFRML will consist of a series of specifications based on XML (extensible markup language).
Proponents of XFRML say that creators and users of financial information, as well as the vendors that serve them, will find it to be a convenient, standards-based vehicle for assembling, sharing and analyzing the financial data necessary to meet reporting requirements.
The XFRML steering committee, which consists of 30 participants--including standard setters, the Big Five accounting firms, software companies, professional associations, brokerage houses and consulting companies--is leading the development and promotion of the project.
According to Liv, "XFRML is an XML-based specification that allows companies, accountants, investors, and industry analysts a standards-based way to prepare, publish, exchange, and analyze financial reports and the information they contain.
Those who will be most affected by XFRML will be companies that prepare financial statements, those that use these financial statements, and those who are responsible for setting standards for financial statements--CPAs, professional associations, consultants, and software vendors.
Elliott says XFRML
represents a way to vastly increase the utility of financial information.
The new financial reporting language, XFRML, is derived from XML (extensible markup language).
The AICPA task force used its prototype and XFRML to create the first full set of XML-based financial statements.