The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made the final step in its transition from (traditional) XBRL to Inline XBRL, with smaller companies now joining the fold.

Larger companies are already required to use XBRL to prepare their financial reports, after it became mandatory for ‘large accelerated filers’ and ‘accelerated filers’ in 2019 and 2020 respectively. On 15 July 2021, it was extended to all remaining filers, including smaller reporting companies and foreign private issuers.

The Inline XBRL format offers a more streamlined reporting process, producing higher-quality data that is easier for users to consume. The key difference is that filers combine human- and machine-readability in a single report document. XBRL tags are directly embedded to make the data discoverable by computers, while HTML formatting can be used to ensure an attractive, well laid out design that makes sense to people. This means that a fact viewed by a person can easily be compared with its tagged value or examined more deeply, and that the digital information in a report can be automatically collected, checked and analysed by software.

With Inline XBRL increasingly the format of choice for reporting around the world, XBRL adoption is not a one-and-done process, and it is important for regulators to understand and take advantage of the benefits of newer specifications. We congratulate the SEC and its filing community on passing the final milestone in a well-managed transition process, and we look forward to the analytical possibilities of having all SEC data available in Inline XBRL.