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What Is XBRL?

XBRL is an acronym that stands for “eXtensible Business Reporting Language,” the interactive standard for communicating financial data introduced by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of its Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) program. In technical terms, XBRL is an XML (extensible markup language) that allows financial data to be tagged consistently, so that it can be more easily organized, shared and tracked.

Most companies submit specific financial data in XBRL-tagged interactive data files for compliance with SEC regulations. This is convenient for investors, who can now check out a company's XBRL-tagged statement of earnings or cash flows online instead of finding that information buried in a company's book-length annual report. Increasing reliance on updated interactive data makes XBRL tagging accuracy extremely important—one mistake can mislead investors or introduce validation errors that delay an SEC filing.

How Can Merrill Help?

As one of the first companies to actively engage with the XBRL filing program, Merrill is uniquely qualified to help your company successfully manage XBRL compliance. We have the largest team of CPA-level XBRL experts in the industry to ensure truly worry-free, error-free regulatory disclosure. Merrill offers comprehensive filing solutions that include expert preparation and review services to ensure your XBRL instance documents match your EDGAR submission.

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