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Europe’s top regulator for financial filings just announced that starting in 2020, filers there will need to make those submissions using Inline XBRL technology.

Yes, the effective date is four years away, and it won’t have much effect on Calcbench subscribers even when 2020 does roll around. Still, it’s proof that XBRL technology—the data language used to simplify the presentation of financial statements—continues its march forward into the financial reporting world.

The agency, the European Securities and Markets Authority, said the rule will apply to companies that file financial statements according to International Financial Reporting Standards, and those filings must use the IFRS filing taxonomy to match accounting line-items to specific XBRL tags.

U.S. filers already file financial statements tagged according to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Last summer the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a voluntary program to let U.S. filers submit financial filings using Inline XBRL technology. That program expires in 2020, although one can presume that if the program goes well, Inline XBRL might become the filing technology of choice here in the United States, too.

Most Calcbench users don’t need to care much about Inline XBRL. It’s a behind-the-scenes technology that we use here, to improve the functionality of our databases and how the data you want to find gets presented on your screen. Those of you directly involved in preparing and filing corporate financial statements might want to keep one eye on Inline XBRL. The rest of you—Calcbench has you covered.

You can read a short FAQs post about Inline XBRL we ran last summer, if you like. We also had a follow-up post on observations from the first Inline XBRL filing made in the United States, from Lennar Corp.

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