After the fate of IFRS in India, people are wondering will XBRL stay? Or will somebody push it to 2015 and beyond?

The answer is really difficult. Let us look at what is happening to XBRL worldwide. The US’s SEC started it slowly – for the top companies – but has now mandated it. BSE started it in 2007, Sebi liked it and implemented it in India. It became compulsory for the top 100 companies ( However it is so easy to use that about 1000 companies are using it. This is a fantastic indication of the industry’s acceptance.

XBRL is now implemented in Australia, UK (a variant called ixbrl), Singapore, India, China, Japan, South Africa, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands….literally around the world. XBRL is now just a part of the reporting world, and is well entrenched.

In a world which is wanting more accountability from the political classes, businessmen, media (ask Murdoch!), XBRL has gone from ‘Why XBRL’ to ‘When XBRL’ and ‘How xbrl’!!

In fact a couple of big Indian banks are now getting ready to get client information in xbrl – so that they can put it in their format for loan processing. It can dramatically shrink the time taken to process the data, and not have to worry about the accuracy. The advantage of xbrl is that it can be used even in each person’s proprietary software. This dramatically increases its applicability. Many big research companies use their own ‘Proprietary’ research software – this edge will be lost. A lot of independent research people will create free and paid tools for people to use with xbrl data. The sheer number of users will make it far more popular!

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  1. XBRL is surely going to stay for good as it introduces standardisation in the way the Balance Sheets are submitted with the ROC and facilitates comparison between two companies in the same Industry.

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