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E-book

XBRL For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-58320-3
436 pages
October 2009
XBRL For Dummies (0470583207) cover image
The perfect guide to help you understand XBRL-from the "father of XBRL"

What is XBRL and how can it help you streamline your business reporting? This plain-English guide from the "father of XBRL," Charles Hoffman, will tell you what it is, why it is, and how you can get on the bus with this new SEC-mandated business reporting standard for publicly-traded companies. A CPA, Hoffman is credited with the idea of applying XML data to financial reporting; XBRL is the language that resulted. Learn to prepare financial statements with XBRL, use it for strategic planning, move all relevant departments in your company to the same system, and more.

  • XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is an XML-based open standard for accounting data; author Charles Hoffman is credited with the idea of applying XML data to financial reporting
  • Plan for XBRL implementation, set action-oriented agendas, and identify stakeholders and subject-matter experts within your organization
  • Learn to choose from and adapt existing XBRL taxonomies to comply with US GAAP and IFRS standards

Topics also include how to adapt your existing financial information into XBRL.

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Introduction 1

Part I: The Very Least You Need to Know about XBRL 7

Chapter 1: Wrapping Your Head Around XBRL 9

Chapter 2: Taking to Heart the Essential Concepts of XBRL 31

Chapter 3: Glancing at XBRL’s Parts 49

Chapter 4: An XBRL Primer 69

Chapter 5: Pinning Down How XBRL Affects You 97

Part II: Embracing XBRL for Classic Challenges and New Possibilities 109

Chapter 6: Exchanging Business Information 111

Chapter 7: Feeding the Business Information-Supply Chain 131

Chapter 8: Seeing the Transformation of Business Information Exchange 145

Part III: Successfully Pursuing and Executing an XBRL Project 155

Chapter 9: Exploring the Common Uses of XBRL 157

Chapter 10: Making Your Own Business Case for XBRL 171

Chapter 11: Evaluating Different Approaches to Implementing XBRL185

Chapter 12: Considering How to Implement Your XBRL Solution 195

Chapter 13: Complying with the SEC Mandate 217

Part IV: Working with XBRL Taxonomies and Instances 225

Chapter 14: Finding Tools and Services to Make XBRL Work 227

Chapter 15: Creating and Using XBRL 249

Chapter 16: Differentiating XBRL Modules 277

Chapter 17: Digging Deeper into XBRL Taxonomies 299

Chapter 18: Understanding the XBRL Instance 325

Chapter 19: Predicting What XBRL Will Become 347

Part V: The Part of Tens 359

Chapter 20: Ten (or So) Ways to Flatten the XBRL Learning Curve 361

Chapter 21: (Nearly) Ten Keys to Understanding How XBRL Works 369

Chapter 22: Top Ten Technical Odds and Ends 377

Index 391

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Charles Hoffman is considered the father of XBRL. He is coeditor of the US GAAP Taxonomy Architecture and was named one of the 100 most influential people in accounting by Accounting Technology.

Liv Apneseth Watson is among the founders of XBRL International and was vice chairman of XBRL International.

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