Are you ready for XBRL?

Well preparedness for xbrl can mean different things at different levels of the xbrl chain.

Board level: If you are a member of the board of directors of a company, you need to know that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has mandated reporting in XBRL format. You need to know that MCA has said listed companies, companies with a capital of Rs. 5 crores and/ or companies with a turnover of Rs. 100 crores have to file a return with the Registrar of companies in the xbrl format.

CEO / Managing director level: you should know that the deadline for filing the return is 30th September, and non filing in xbrl format is equivalent OF NOT FILING. The RoC WILL NOT ACCEPT YOUR PDF document if you are trying to file your annual return. This is an offense and will lead to prosecution and fine. So if your company secretary and CFO have not yet woken up, ask them too!

CFO / Company Secretary: Well, you have to file the return, so you have to know operationally how to do it. It is not very complicated, nor is it too simple. You need to have some basic computer knowledge and have some accounting knowledge to do some elementary tagging. If your balance sheet is a big one and complicated – like say a construction company, well it will take more time. However if it is simple like the balance sheet of a mutual fund, it might be simpler.

Practicing Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary: If your client is covered by the MCA mandate, you have to learn how to convert the annual report to xbrl format. There are many options – bolt on – your accounts package software converts it, out source it – somebody takes the pdf and converts to xbrl, buy a tool and learn how to convert. The logic is very simple. If you have 10-15 companies to convert, buy the tool. If you have 2-3 companies to convert, go for the conversion option.

What will be the costs involved for converting from pdf to xbrl format?

Well for the pure conversion I have heard numbers from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 4oo,000 depending upon the complication of the report. It is also a function of how many companies are there in a group. If say there are 80 companies, you will not pay Rs. 40 lakhs for filing – assuming the rate is 50,000 per company! the vendor may do it for say Rs. 30 lakhs!

So see where you are, what you have to do, get the vendor and file your return.

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  1. so much so for xbrl reporting mandate and a cutoff date, does it make sense to create few components which can convert from an array of source data to the destination XBRL format ? Is there a market to buy such tools or is the market already too flooded and we late with the idea ?

  2. Ram xbrl is a data cleansing tool. So you should think of creating tools which will work with clean data rather than converting. The converting space will fall in price – and soon may even be available free – see adobde – pdf readers, writers are free.

    but using clean xbrl data to create innovative b i tools (business intelligence) will work. For eg Bloomberg has proprietary tools which will be threatened if u can create analytical tools ASSUMING that the data is clean. XBRL will be like broking. B I tools is like research. If u are small be in B I Tools.

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