Tuesday, January 3

Introduction to XBRL

With the increasingly competitive and globalised business environment, it becomes imperative for businesses to stay abreast with the what's happening around the world and keep evolving as the world transforms.

One of the things that are equally important is the way companies communicate their financial reports to the users of financial statements. Different countries, different reporting standards and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAPs). For better integration came the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Then was the question of how should the numbers be communicated. The Medium?

The answer was XBRL.

What is XBRL?

XBRL  is an acronym of eXtensible Business Reporting Language is an XML based technology standard set to improve the way in which the business financial information is created, stored and retrieved. It is a transformation of the business reporting framework which is changing the communication and reporting of business and financial data.
Who does it apply to in India?
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has recently announced that certain companies are required to file their financial statements for the financial year 2010-11 in XBRL mode.
Currently, the following companies would be required to file their financial statements in XBRL format
• All companies listed on any Indian Stock Exchange
• All subsidiaries of the companies listed on any Indian Stock Exchange
• All companies with a turnover of Rs 100 crore
• All companies with a paid up capital of Rs 5 crore
It can be easily assumed that the coverage of companies which require XBRL filing will increase significantly over the coming years.

Does it require changes in any GAAP
No. XBRL does not require any change in the Accounting Policies and Principles.
However, it does change the way the companies report their financial statements to the MCA (viz filing of Form 23AC – Balance Sheet and Form 23ACA –Income Statement etc).

Software Requirements
The MCA has recommended a number of software providers who can provide software for XBRL filing. Some of them are:
• ADEPT INFOWAYS PVT LIMITED

• ALPHABRICKS TECHNOLOGIES
• BEYONDSQUARE SOLUTIONS PVT LTD
• C3IT SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS PVT LTD
• CATALYST IT SOLUTIONS PVT LTD
• CCH PROSYSTEM INDIA PVT LTD
• CHARTERED INFORMATION SYSTEMS PRIVATE LIMITED
• EPSILON TECHNOLOGIES
• IRIS BUSINESS SERVICES LTD
• KDK SOFTWARES (I) PVT. LTD.
• MAIA INTELLIGENCE PVT. LTD.
• MICROVISTA TECHNOLOGIES
• PAGARIA CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED
• PROFESSIONAL SOFTEC PVT LTD.
• RELYON SOFTECH LTD
• RHAPSODY ACCOUNTING AND ADVISORY SERVICES PRIVATE LIMITED
• SAG INFOTECH PVT LTD
• SENSYS TECHNOLOGIES PVT LTD
• SINEWAVE COMPUTER SERVICES PRIVATE LIMITED
• SKORYDOV SYSTEMS PRIVATE LIMITED
• SOFTPARK
• SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY GROUP INTL. LTD(STG).
• TAX PRINT
• TAXMANN ALLIED SERVICES PRIVATE LIMITED
• THIRDWARE SOLUTION LTD
• THOMSON REUTERS
• WEBTEL ELECTROSOFT PVT. LTD.

 
Training Requirements
Given the importance of communicating the financial statements with the Government, it is important for the people responsible for filing the Financial Statements to understand the process in details to avoid any errors in financial reporting. While some of the software available are user friendly, the need for a detailed training is never overemphasized.
 
Apart from various seminars which only highlight the overview of XBRL, a detailed course with practical training should help.
 
I know of some examples of training providers:
ICA Infotech - Detailed hand-on practical course available pan India
KPMG - online course available
Iris
 
For more details, please feel free to post your comments and I'll be happy to respond.
 
 
 
Twitter: @vikash_goel

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