Preserving company-specific formatting decisions

In my last blog, I posed the question Why use Inline XBRL? Of course, one of the key reasons is that you can incorporate company-specific formatting decisions in your report.

Inline XBRL allows people that want to get a business report across to one or more users, to format that document in exactly the way that they want. This might seem obvious but, to be honest, when XBRL was first being designed this very important – human – aspect of business reporting was not really captured. Most XML standards assume that it’s important to separate data from the rendering rules. That’s fine for an XML-based SWIFT standard that transmits information about a payment or receipt of monies, or a format like UBL, which allows the exchange of information about invoices, purchase orders and goods delivery. But business reporting actually involves not just the facts and figures but the way that information is presented. The vitally important thing for those producing the report, and indeed for many of the people consuming it, is the way it is laid out…

So Inline XBRL allows just that: XBRL business reporting with full visual fidelity.

Make sure you come back tomorrow, for the next motivation for using Inline XBRL: it’s easily understood by preparers.