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Advanced Accounting Information Systems. Day 30 Introduction to XBRL November 4, 2009. Announcements. First XBRL assignment for early filers due today (11/4); for all others due Friday Graduate student paper topics Midterm progress. Objectives.

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advanced accounting information systems

Advanced Accounting Information Systems

Day 30

Introduction to XBRL

November 4, 2009


First XBRL assignment for early filers due today (11/4); for all others due Friday

Graduate student paper topics

Midterm progress


Obtain an overview understanding of XBRL and its role in computerized financial and business operations reporting

Understand key terms such as taxonomy, instance document, markup, and meta-data

Understand key aspects of SEC filing program

Understand the XML document foundation

Describe differences between XML and UBL

question for today
Question for today

What is meta-data?

How does XML differ from XBRL?

question for today1
Question for today

What is a standard taxonomy?

What is an instance document?

difference between html and xml and xbrl
Difference between HTML and XML and XBRL


Tags provide presentation information


Extensible – adding meaning to data and storing and processing it as information

As long as you follow the rules, you can extend or add to tags


Surrounding pieces of data with tags that add meaning


Paper based financial statements reporting

HTML based financial statements reporting

Off Line

LAN, Intranet, Internet





XBRL based financial statements reporting

Provide a standard method for preparing, analyzing, and exchanging financial information.

Limited accessibility

Not allow data exchange,intelligent search, andadaptive presentation


Paper Based








Cash: 50000

Debt: 10000

Cash: 50000

Debt: 10000

Cash: 50000

Debt: 10000

<B> Cash: 50000 </B>

<I> Debt: 10000 </I>

Cash { font-weight: bold }

Debt { font-style: italic }

<Cash> 50000 </Cash>

<Debt> 10000 </Debt>



  • Instance document
    • XML file that contains business reporting information and represents a collection of financial facts and report-specific information using tags from one or more XBRL taxonomies
    • Element A financial reporting concept, defined in XBRL
    • ContextEntity and report-specific information (reporting period, segment information, and so forth) required by XBRL that allows tagged data to be understood in relation to other information
  • Taxonomy
    • Electronic dictionary of business reporting elements used to report business information
    • Standard taxonomyDeveloped for U.S. companies by XBRL.US
    • Taxonomy extensionsCreated by individual companies


Definition, Content, and Presentation


XBRL Taxonomy

XBRL Instance

<element name="CashCashEquivalents"







<cust:CashCashEquivalents decimals="0"





XSLT Style Sheet

<xsl:for-each select="//cust:CashCashEquivalents">

<xsl:if test="@contextRef[.='End2004']">

<xsl:value-of select="format-number(current(), '###,###')"/>




Cash and Cash Equivalents $35,000


Human readable format

Data (Content)

Machine readable format

Rendering (Presentation)



  • With XBRL, each item of a company’s reported information is tagged with a unique code identifier.

HTML or PDF Format

XBRL Format



  • SEC rule proposal May 30, 2008
  • Adopted by SEC on December 17, 2008
  • Basics of the rule:
    • Required primary financial statements (PFS) and footnotes for all issuers using US GAAP/IFRS for periods ending June 15, 2009 or later
      • Year 1 – all large accelerated filers (worldwide equity float above $5 billion)
      • Year 2 – all other accelerated filers
      • Year 3 – all others
    • First year PFS plus block tag footnotes
    • 2nd year include detailed tag footnotes
    • 30 day grace period for first filing of PFS and detailed footnotes

Emerging technology under the auspices of XBRL International

Used to tag each piece of financial and business operations information in a standard way so that it can be validated, stored, and processed by computerized applications

XBRL specifications

Standard taxonomies

Instance documents


Adds meaning to data




First specification of the XBRL Taxonomy for Financial Statements for the commercial and industrial U.S. companies.

International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) released a core taxonomy of XBRL for Financial Statements(IASC 2001).

Revised XBRL Specification 2.1 was released by International Steering Committee of XBRL International.

Charlie Hoffman introduces the potential use of XML for financial reporting.

XBRL proposed mandating companies furnish statements in XBRL format.

First meeting of the XFRML Steering Committee.

SEC announces expedited reviews for XBRL filers.

October 1999

July 2000

April 2002

April 2004

January 2006


May 30, 2008

01/1997 12/1997 12/1998 12/1999 12/2000 12/2001 12/2002 12/2003 12/2004 12/2005 12/2006 12/2007 12/2008

December 17, 2008

December 2003

November 2001

September 2007

August 1999

April 2000

April 2005

SEC adopts XBRL mandate.

12 companies, (besides the AICPA), including ‘Big 5’ joined the project as members of the XFRML Steering Committee.

XBRL Specification 2.1 was approved and released by International Steering Committee of XBRL International.

XFRML Steering Committee was officially changed to XBRL Steering Committee.

XBRL US project team completes tagging of US GAAP (XBRL US GAAP Taxonomies 1.0).

SEC XBRL Voluntary Financial Reporting Program (VFRP)

The second specification of the XBRL was released for public comment (see at for details).

glossary of new terms chapter 1
Glossary of New Terms – Chapter 1




Instance documents



XBRL Specifications 2.1

XBRL taxonomies


xml document foundation
XML Document Foundation

XML vocabularies discussed in class

Universal Business Language (UBL)


Design goals of XML

Usable over the Internet

Support a variety of applications

Preferred way to move data between software applications on a computer network

Be human-readable

XML documents

Contain tagged items of data and conform to specific rules and syntax that make them processable by all XML-enabled software applications

Well-formed XML documents contain tags and data items in a nested hierarchy


UBL 2.0

XML vocabulary that defines the structure and contents of common business documents

Catalogue, Order, Invoice, Remittance advice,

Reusable data components that appear in them such as ID, Name, IssueDate, and Item

UBL Catalogue

Business document that describes items, prices, and other details about products or services available for sale

See Figure 2.1 and 2.2

xml document foundation1
XML Document Foundation

XML documents

Contain tagged items of data and conform to specific rules and syntax that make them processable by all XML-enabled software applications

Well-formed XML documents contain tags and data items in a nested hierarchy


Tag set and its contents

Matching beginning and ending tag name along with its content

Root element

Parent of the entire XML document

rules for well formed xml documents
Rules for Well-formed XML Documents

An XML document can have one and only one root element.

All elements must have matching beginning and ending names, and XML is case sensitive

Elements can contain attributes that add information about a specific element and appear following the beginning element name

All elements must be properly nested

purpose of basic rules for xml documents
Purpose of Basic Rules for XML Documents

Provide foundation for the creation of humanly-understandable tags (element names) to ‘markup’ data items with descriptive metadata (data about data)

Provide structure that enforces a strict hierarchy that results in very efficient computer processing

ubl catalogue
UBL Catalogue

Open-source software standards for e-business and Web services

Created by OASIS

Provides complete XML-based library of business documents to be used in e-business transactions

Reusable data components

Standard way business can encode in computer-readable form the information necessary to describe the products and services it has available

Can be rendered as a printed document or a Web page

Can also be transmitted from seller to potential buyer via Internet

uml prolog and documentation statements
UML Prolog and Documentation Statements

Like all XML vocabularies, UBL has its own rules and guiding principles


All XML documents start with a prolog

Processing instructions to be used by an XML processor and additional information such as documentation and structure information

All XML document prologs start with an XML declaration and version information

<?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“UFT-8”?>

8 bit Unicode – preferred encoding schem for email and web pages

Documentation statements

Can appear anywhere in an XML document

Always in form <! - -Documentation statement - - >

beginning root element name
Beginning root element name

Always the first tag in XML document AFTER the prolog

Also referred to as the ‘document element) because it contains all of the document’s other elements nested within it



XML document always starts and ends with its root element name

Choose name carefully

Need to be descriptive about the contents and purpose of the XML document

Xbrl root name is ??


What are the child elements of the PostalAddress element shown in Figure 2.2?

xml attributes
XML Attributes

All XML elements can have one or more attributes

Contained within the beginning element name brackets (<>) and further explain the meaning of an individual element

Have their own name and a value in the following format:

AttributeName = “attribute Value”


Used in each Price element

Rerquired to have a currencyID attribute


How would you interpret the data in the <Price> element within the second <CatalogueLine> element?

rules for ubl documents
Rules for UBL documents

Each has unique root element chosen to correspond to document’s purpose

Each has required ID element to uniquely identify document and IssueDate element to fix it in time

Each has two party elements appropriately named for purpose of document to identify provider/supplier and customer/buyer parties to document

Each has at least one line element appropriately named for purpose of document. Each line element is required to have ID element and appropriate item information


XML documents

Used in business to store and transmit data

Contain data ‘tagged’ with meaningful XML elements (metadata) in a strict hierarchy

Basic unit of information in an XML document is an ‘element’

Consists of beginning and ending element name, attributes, and data values or other elements nested within it

All well-formed XML documents follow a basic set of rules (help standardize XML documents so they can be efficiently processed by software applications)

One and only one root element

Matching beginning and ending element names

All elements can contain attributes

All elements must be properly nested

glossary of new terms
Glossary of New Terms


Electronic data interchange



Open-source software standards


Reusable data component

Root element

UBL vocabulary

Valid XML documents

Well-formed XML documents

XML web services

questions for friday
Questions for Friday

What is the purpose of the XML schema language?

Distinguish between Namespaces and XLink?