XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) also known as “interactive data”, is a reporting standard mandated by the SEC. Unlike HTML/ASCII, XBRL enables computer programs the ability to easily scan and capture key financial values within a filing for analysis and comparison. The SEC has provided over 10,000 us-gaap codes which filers are expected to use to “tag” or “barcode” every line item within the financial statements of a filing (Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Statement of Cash Flows, Statement of Stockholders Equity) and corresponding note content. XBRL content submitted to EDGAR must also explain how the coded facts should be displayed and calculated.


After June 15, 2011, all reporting issuers will be required to submit XBRL content with certain forms, including 10-Q, 10-K, 20-F, and 40-F. XBRL is not replacing the HTML or ASCII formats; XBRL data will be submitted alongside HTML/ASCII files as separate exhibits in an EDGAR filing.  After June 15, 2012, all reporting issuers will be required to additionally provide XBRL content for schedules, policies, and individual numbers appearing within the notes to their financial statements. After June 15, 2013, the XBRL content in a filing will be subject to the same liability provisions as the HTML files.

On April 8, 2011, the SEC issued a no-action letter stating that foreign private issuers who use International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as promulgated by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to prepare their financial statements will not be required to submit interactive data files to the SEC until the SEC specifies a taxonomy, or classification system, for preparing such information. Learn more about XBRL and IFRS.


It is possible to file XBRL interactive data on SEDAR as part of the CSA voluntary program. Issuers reporting in both the United States and Canada may wish to voluntarily file XBRL data files submitted to the SEC EDGAR system on SEDAR.  No plan has been announced in regards to mandating the filing of XBRL data on SEDAR.

FAQs Related To


Q: Will my company be required to file in XBRL format and if so, when?
Q: What documents require an XBRL component?
Q: What information requires XBRL coding?
Q: What are the ramifications of not filing the required XBRL interactive data in a timely manner?
Q: What liability provisions are in place for XBRL interactive data?
Q: What is involved in preparing XBRL interactive data?
Q: Where will XBRL interactive data submitted to the EDGAR system appear?