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    What is the difference I cant seem to figure that out


    XML vs. XRL….The best way that I understand it is that XML is the governing rules of electronic data information and the XRBL is the subset of rules specifically related to business items. In an analogy I would say XML=Microsoft Word and XRBL = A balance sheet….a set of rules for how business information should be portrayed with appropriate fields WITHIN a word document.

    For more info, check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBRL


    Is there a difference in the Tags?


    I lost the link on where I got this explanation but here goes….just don't sue me for copyright infringement.


    HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a standard way of marking up a document so it can be published on the World Wide Web and viewed in a browser. It provides a set of pre-defined tags describe on how content appears in a browser. For example, it describes the font and color of text. It gives little information on meaning or context. XML (Extensible Markup Language) uses tags to identify the meaning, context and structure of data.

    XML is a standard language which is maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). XML does not replace HTML; it is a complementary format that is platform independent, allowing XML data to be rendered on any device such as a computer, cell phone, PDA or tablet device. It enables rich, structured data to be delivered in a standard, consistent way. Whereas HTML offers a fixed, pre-defined number of tags, XML neither defines nor limits tags. Instead, XML provides a framework for defining tags (i.e. taxonomy) and the relationship between them (i.e. schema).

    XBRL is an XML-based schema that focuses specifically on the requirements of business reporting. XBRL builds upon XML, allowing accountants and regulatory bodies to identify items that are unique to the business reporting environment. The XBRL schema defines how to create XBRL documents and XBRL taxonomies, providing users with a set of business information tags that allows users to identify business information in a consistent way. XBRL is also extensible in that users are able to create their own XBRL taxonomies that define and describe tags unique to a given environment.


    Can you provide any examples I think I understand the concept, just dont understand what the difference in the tags would be


    <Balance sheet>



    Put simply, XML is just a specific way of storing information in a file.

    An XML document, is merely a text file that follows the conventions outlined in the XML definition. These are things like well formed nested tags, attributes, and a whole bunch of stuff that you really don't care about for the CPA exam.

    Since XML is extensible (eXtensible Markup Language), you can define tags. You can make up any tags you want, and decide what they mean to you. I could make a <test> tag, and a <score> tag and then do something like this:




    This would an example of a well formed XML document. Im just trying to make the point that you can have any tags you want.

    XBRL, therefore, is just a specific set of tags that have a defined meaning. Some people got together and came up with a set of XML tags that they all agree to use in the same way, so that they have consistent meaning. This allows people to understand an XBRL document produced by anyone. XML is the tool used to store the information in the XBRL document.

    Long story short, XBRL is a specific application of XML. Its like saying that a haiku is a specific application of the english langugae (well actually japanese I guess) because it uses words in a specific structure.


    So then I am right about XBRL it could be like:


    Then show Revenue?


    Hey PursuitCPA, you're pretty much right on the mark.

    I was a temp worker at Edgar Online for a few months, where I converted financial statements into XBRL, so hopefully my explanation helps:

    If you go to the SEC website and search any stock ticker, you can find public financial statements in three formats, plain text, HTML, and XBRL. Let's use Ford as an example.

    Plain text is just what you think, a display of basic text. Click to view a financial statements in text format:


    HTML can also display like plain text, but allows a developer to use “markup codes” to enhance the text with colors, tables, links, pictures and other formatting abilities. Click to view financial statements in HTML format:


    All you need to really need to know about XML is that it is related to HTML, but it is specifically designed for databases. Think of XML as an index of all the files on your hard drive. When you perform a search for a certain song on your computer, for example, the computer reads the XML index (also known as a database) and knows just where to find that song.

    XBRL is concerned with how data is comparable to other data within a database. Go with me on this…. a pre-defined set of rules, called a taxonomy, was established for financial statements to classify every single possible financial statement line-item so when it is displayed in HTML, it is in the same exact format as any other financial statement in HTML. Click to view financial statements in XBRL format:


    Do you see how each section in the XBRL financial statements in classified and linked? This is the future of financial reporting. With this standardized formatting, an investor can now compare millions of financial statements at once, even those in different languages, so long as the financial statements were “mapped” correctly. For instance, cash in a company's checking account should be mapped as cash and cash equivalents on the balance sheet, and not something like administrative expense on the income statement. If a company in Italy maps their checking account as cash and cash equivalents, even if it shows up at the bottom of the balance sheet, the software will know it is the same category as Ford's cash and equivalents, and can be compared.


    I'm no accountant, but I saw this post and I thought I could help.

    A small example of why XBRL is important:

    As you know, the tags used in an XML file describe a a relational hierarchy. Usually there are several ways to build an XML file that contains the same information.












    contain the same information, but are organized differently and have different Tag names. A tool that was made to compare these two examples would need to know about both formats for it to be able to extract the car information properly. XBRL is a set of rules that were created to avoid the need for custom translations.

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