XBRL is an immensely powerful data standard. It is also easy to understand. Once established, functional XBRL systems afford convenience to filers, regulators, analysts and investors. However, XBRL, as a data standard, suffers from two large drawbacks:
Data integrity across formats: Many regulators like the US’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ask for both HTML and XBRL submissions. The underlying requirement, of course, is that the data must be factually the same. This necessitates (a) additional care or (b) single-source data (such as the platform that DataTracks uses) to ensure that discrepancies between the two formats do not creep in.
Readability: HTML can be read by humans, not by computers. XBRL can be read by computers, not humans. The issue here is very apparent.
These two problems were solved in April 2010 when inline-XBRL or iXBRL achieved recommendation status. Inline XBRL has since been mandated as the format in which:
a) All companies in the UK file their tax returns and the accompanying financial disclosures (in keeping with the HMRC regulations); and
b) All companies in Ireland file their tax returns and their financial disclosures (in keeping with the Irish Revenue regulations)
The use of iXBRL has made it possible to embed metadata tags within an HTML document. This renders the document comprehensible to human beings and allows computers to read the metadata embedded in that HTML document to understand the document as well. This means that you can read that a company’s management believes a good year is in the offing while a computer can read the same document and tell you that in the same industry, its peers are likely to perform even better based on past trends. That is the power of iXBRL. It completely and elegantly solves the two drawbacks of XBRL mentioned above. Of course, there is no scope for integrity issues, since there is only the one document.
As an Irish company that needs to file its annual disclosures, tax returns and reconciliation in iXBRL, you need an XBRL expert to help you out. Filing with Irish Revenue is not a revenue-generating task for you. So, let us carry this burden for you. At DataTracks (www.datatracks.ie), we ensure that your iXBRL documents are correct and ready for filing. For more information on how we can help you, get in touch with our Customer Support team at +353 (0)766 805078. You can also write to us at email@example.com.
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