How to Convert to XBRL

Updated April 17, 2017

Extensile Business Reporting Language (XBRL), is an open standard file format and part of the XML family of formats. XML formats are designed to be read by machines. Many government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, increasingly require companies to file their reports in XBRL rather than in text or spreadsheet documents. This saves the government time as a computer can easily read the document. To properly file government reports, you will need software capable of converting your data into the XBRL format.

Purchase and install Altova MissionKit. This software package includes several programs designed to work with XBRL documents. You can use it to convert spreadsheets and Word documents to XBRL. The software can create data maps between your original documents and an XBRL document to assist you in creating proper tags in the XBRL format.

Purchase Clarity FSR. This Web-based service is specifically designed for SEC filings. It features "Tag Once Technology." This means that if you tag a piece of data for one filing, the program will remember the tag and automatically place the correct tag the next time you need to file a report with the SEC. The service is also capable of automatically making changes to the XBLR report if a change is made in the source document.

Purchase VT Final Accounts from VT Software. A version of this accounting software will be released on Jan. 31, 2011, that will seamlessly take data from an Excel spreadsheet and convert it into an iXBLR report as required by HM Revenue & Customs in the United Kingdom. Thus, this software will assist you in filling the proper documentation for your business in the UK.

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About the Author

A professional writer, Michael Butler has been writing Web content since 2010. Butler brings expertise in legal and computer issues to his how-to articles. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Washburn University. Butler also has a Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington.