eXtensible Business Reporting Language

Introduction to XBRL

In this post, we will be discussing XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language)  including its Advantages, Meaning and documents required to complete the e-form AOC-4 XBRL. Let’s take a closer look at each of these sections:

What is XBRL?

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, which is an international standard designed to improve the way financial data is communicated, making it easier to compile and share the data, digitally. The eXtensible Business Reporting Language is based on XML (extensible markup language), which incorporates accounting software tools and applications.

XBRL allows producers and consumers of financial data to eliminate the need for costly manual processes, usually involving time-comparison, assembly, and re-entry of the data. In this way, they are able to focus on analysis, assisted by software that can validate and process XBRL information.

The XBRL format uses tags in order to identify financial data, which can then be used programmatically by an XBRL-compliant program. The smooth communication of data between firms is made possible via XBRL.

Who developed XBRL?

XBRL is an open, royalty-free software specification developed in incorporation with accountants and technologists from around the world. In collaboration, they formed XBRL International, which now has more than 650 members, including global companies, accounting, technology, government, and financial institutions.

How does XBRL work?

XBRL makes the data readable, with the use of two documents—the taxonomy and instance document. According to the regulatory requirements, taxonomy describes the elements and their relationships. To generate a valid XBRL instance document, companies must map their reports according to the taxonomy prescribed by regulators. 

The process of mapping involves matching concepts as reported by the company with corresponding taxonomy elements.

Additionally, information like unit of measurement, period of data, scale of reporting, etc., should be included in the instance document, along with the XBRL tag from taxonomy.

XBRL Authentication

  • So practicing courses like CA/CS/CWA to certify the authenticity of Balance Sheet, Profit, and Loss filed in XBRL format.
  • Financial Statements were then tagged “fairly represents, in all material aspects, audited financial statements of the Company”.

Preparatory work for XBRL

  • Get audited financial statements of the company (standalone and consolidated).
  • The above statements should be in Excel or Word format.
  • Then map the source document to the Target Taxonomy as directed by MCA.

Ensure the generated XBRL financial statement has the following:

  1. Completeness – all the information necessary is included in the XBRL statement.
  2. Mapping- the elements selected are, therefore connected with the meaning of the associated concepts in the source information.
  3. Accuracy – the amounts, dates, other attributes (for example, Monetary units), and relationships (order and calculations) in the instance document and related files have a logical connection with the source information in relation with the requirements of the entity’s reporting environment.
  • XBRL filing is not only a balance sheet and profit and loss. Each note also forms a part of the taxonomy that has to be looked into:
  1. Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Account
  2. Cash Flow Statements
  3. Notes forming part of the accounts
  4. Director’s report
  5. Auditor’s report
  6. Working papers

Share capital

  • Details to be provided by shareholders:
  1. CIN/PAN of the shareholders with more than 5% shareholding.
  2. No. of shares held by them.
  3. Percentage of shareholding.
  • Details of Application money received for allotment of securities and due for refund as well as its interest.
  • Specific about private placements(if any)
  • Details of public offerings made during the year(if any) – This is a mandatory field.


  • The nature of security in case of secured borrowings.
  • Terms of repayment in long term borrowings.
  • Details on defaults on borrowings(if any) like date of default, outstanding amount of default towards principal and interest.
  • Details of bonds or debentures like nature, particulars of redemption, no of allottees etc.

Fixed Assets

  • Disclose additional information.
  • Use the depreciation method for each class of asset.
  • Useful life or depreciation rates.
  • Description of using higher rates of depreciation than the prescribed rates.
  • Details on the revaluation of fixed assets.

Related party details

  • Name of the related party, CIN (Corporate Identification Number) or PAN, country of incorporation or residence.
  • Description of the nature of the related party.
  • Related party transactions in detail.
  • The transaction relating to key management personnel.
  • Outstanding balances for related party details.

Subsidiary Information

  • Name of the Subsidiary, CIN (Corporate Identification Number) or PAN, their country of incorporation or residence.
  • SRN of Balance sheet of Subsidiary.
  • The Date of becoming subsidiary and Date of ceasing to be subsidiary(if any)
  • Key information about subsidiary, for instance, Share capital, reserves, Revenue, Total profit etc.
  • Details of guarantee given for any loans borrowed by subsidiary like Name of guaranteed party, CIN, amount.
  • Details of guarantee by the subsidiary for loans borrowed by the company like Name of the guaranteed party, CIN, amount.

Directors Details

  • Directors information like Name, DIN (Director Identification Number), Designation, Qualification, Date of Birth, Share held, Remuneration paid with break up).
  • The qualification(s), reservation(s) or adverse remark(s) of the auditors as per Board’s report.
  • Then a Complete Directors report.

Details of principal products or services

  • Description of products or services category (with ITC code)
  • Turnover of each product or services in each category.
  • Highest turnover contributing to the product or service(with ITC code)
  • Unit of measurement, Quantity, Turnover of highest turnover contributing to the product or service

Scope and level of tagging

  • The scope, as well as the level of tagging for preparation of financial statements in XBRL format, are based on the annual accounts and related documents of the company along with the business rules as published by MCA.
  • Detailed tagging for the various elements in the taxonomy. E.g.: in the Notes – Share Capital
  1. Details of the Authorized Capital, Issued, Subscribed, Called up, Paid-up.
  2. Reconciliation of no.of shares and the value of shares outstanding.
  3. Shares in a company held by holding the company or ultimate holding company or by its subsidiaries or associates.
  4. Shareholders details.
  • Text block tagging is also used in case of information like director’s report, notes to accounts etc., to highlight business rules.

Modelling via Axis

The C&I taxonomy also uses both ‘explicit’ and ‘typed’ dimensions.

  • Modelling through ‘Explicit’ dimensions

Explicit dimensions are used in cases where the no.of domain members are known and can be defined. For instance,

  1. Notes: Share Capital
  2. Notes: Reserves and Surplus
  3. Notes: Borrowings
  4. Notes: Tangible Assets
  5. Notes: Intangible Assets
  • Modelling through ‘Typed’ dimensions

Typed dimensions are used in cases where the no.of domain members are known but it is impractical to list due to their large no. Examples are below:

  1. Disclosure – Directors report
  2. Disclosures – Auditors Report
  3. Notes: Non-Current Investments
  4. Notes: Current Investments
  5. Notes: Related Party
  6. Notes: Subsidiary Information
  7. Disclosure of Principal Products or services

As per Section 259 of Companies Act, a private company has no limit on the maximum no. of directors that can be appointed. However, the public companies have a limit of twelve and it can be increased beyond twelve by permission of the central government.

Since the no.of directors for companies do not have a maximum limit so here ‘typed’ dimension is used. So, the preparer can create any no.of members as per their reporting entity’s requirement.

Advantages of XBRL

At all levels of company reporting and analysis, XBRL offers major benefits like:

  • Automatic data gathering
  • dependable and precise
  • time-saving method
  • analytical technique
  • A better method of reporting
  • Data processing which is safe and affordable
  • enhances the ability to make decisions

Financial data producers and consumers can utilise XBRL to eliminate time-consuming manual processes such as comparisons, data re-entry, and data assembly. In this way, they are able to focus on analysis, assisted by software that can validate and process XBRL data. 

Documents Required for AOC-4 XBRL

Attach the following company documents to AOC-4 XBRL to complete the form:

  • P&L (Profit & Loss statement)
  • Balance sheet 
  • Cash flow statement 
  • Accounting schedules related to profit and loss statements and balance sheets
  • Statement of subsidiaries as required by Section 129 of the Companies Act, 1956
  • Annual report, audit report, and board report
  • Statements of consolidated financial position
  • A summary of the CAG’s comments

We have reached the conclusion of this post on XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.