Naturally, any explanation of XBRL would be incomplete without a mention of Charlie Hoffman and his Seattle basement, where toiling away one day, he thought, "There must be a better way...". He reached out to a few other forward-thinkers, and soon the idea was more than that, it was a movement.

What is XBRL?

XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is the emerging standard for the tagging of business reports, to allow computerized preparation and consumption of business information. XBRL will do to printed business reports what the internet has done to the phone book. Until now, business reports have been document-centric.  Documents created in the XBRL standard become content-centric.  Each piece of information in the document becomes a distinct and separate piece of consumable information.

XBRL: It’s new, or is it?

When you need help implementing a new standard, who do you look for? New standards don’t suddenly appear; they go through years of consideration, planning, design and development. XBRL is such a standard. Yes it’s new to most of us. But there have been some who have been deeply involved from nearly the beginning.

As a concept, XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) was envisioned in 1999. A decade later the SEC mandated the use of XBRL for the largest filers, extending to all filers over the next three years. And so, in 2011, the final wave of filers (the "group 3" filers) are required to provide XBRL to the SEC.  XBRL adoption is, however, a global phenomenon: for example, in the Netherlands the government has introduced an XBRL filing programme, and in the UK, HMRC has required XBRL versions of financial statements included with tax returns..

Our history with XBRL

Senior individuals at GRMSi have been intimately involved with XBRL from the beginning of the century, and have served across a number of XBRL working groups and leadership positions in both XBRL International and XBRL US.

GRMSi's Daniel Roberts served as the two-term chairman of the XBRL US Steering Committee, and a member of various working groups, including Assurance, Accounting Supply Chain and Adoption, in addition to representing the US on the XBRL International Steering Committee (ISC).

Moreover, GRMSi has access to further industry specialists who have been involved with XBRL virtually from the beginning, and who have remained closely involved with all aspects of the development of the standard.