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XBRL Filing

By Mayashree Acharya


Updated on: Dec 28th, 2021


6 min read

XBRL is a language for the communication of financial and business data electronically used for business reporting around the world. XBRL means eXtensible Business Reporting Language. The XBRL filing provides benefits in analysing, preparing, and communicating business information.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) introduced XBRL filing of financial statements with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) through the MCA portal. The Companies (Filing of documents and forms in Extensible Business Reporting Language) Rules, 2011 rendered that certain classes of companies have to mandatorily file their profit and loss accounts and balance sheets with the ROC using the XBRL taxonomy.

Subsequently, the Companies (Filing of documents and forms in Extensible Business Reporting Language) Rules, 2017 provided that certain classes of companies must mandatorily file their financial statements and other documents under Section 137 of the Companies Act, 2013 (‘Act’) with the ROC in eform AOC-4 XBRL.

Applicability of XBRL Filing for Companies

The certain classes of companies that need to file balance sheet, profit and loss accounts and eform AOC-4 XBRL using the XBRL taxonomy with the ROC are as follows:

  • Every public company listed in the Indian stock exchange and their Indian subsidiaries
  • Every company with a turnover of or more than Rs.100 crore
  • Every company with a paid-up capital of or more than Rs.5 crore 
  • Every company that is required to prepare its financial statements as per the Companies (Indian Accounting Standards) Rules, 2015

However, the following companies are exempt from filing financial statements with the ROC in XBRL taxonomy:

  • Non-banking financial companies 
  • Housing finance companies 
  • Companies involved in the insurance business and banking sector 

The companies that have once filed their financial statements with the ROC in XBRL under Section 137 of the Act must continue to file their financial statements, AOC-4 and other documents in XBRL only, even when they cease to fall under the classes of companies mentioned above.

Documents Required for AOC-4 XBRL

The following company documents have to be attached with the eform AOC-4 XBRL:

  • Profit and loss statement
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow statement
  • Schedules related to profit and loss statement and balance sheet
  • Statement of subsidiaries under Section 129 of the Companies Act, 1956
  • Boards’ report, audit report and annual report
  • Consolidated financial statements
  • Details of comments of CAG of India

XBRL Filing for Cost Compliance Report and Cost Audit

In 2012, the MCA notified that the cost auditors and companies must file the cost audit reports and compliance reports from the financial year 2011-12 onwards in the XBRL format based on the XBRL taxonomy. The companies that are not covered under the industry-specific Cost Audit Order No. 52/26/CAB‐2010 dated 6 November 2012 are not required to file their cost audit reports.

When the activities/products of the companies covered under the Cost (Accounting Records Rules) 2011 are included in the cost audit, they are not required to file the compliance report separately. However, the companies meeting the threshold limits prescribed in the Cost (Accounting Records) Rules 2011 must file the compliance report in the XBRL format. 

The Institute of Cost Accountants of India member who is in full-time employment with the concerned company or holds a full-time certificate of practice can certify the compliance report. The cost auditor must digitally sign and file the cost audit report for the company. 

Creating the cost audit report in XBRL format as approved by the Board and certified by the cost auditor is the company’s responsibility. However, filing the cost audit report in XBRL format with the Central Government is the responsibility of the cost auditor. The cost auditor has to ensure the correctness of data and information contained in the XBRL instance document.

XBRL Taxonomy and Instance Document

An XBRL taxonomy consists of the basic XBRL properties, data definitions and the inter-relationships amongst the concepts. Taxonomies can represent hundreds/thousands of individual business reporting concepts, definitional and mathematical relationships among them, along with text labels in multiple languages. 

Companies need to map their financial reports using the taxonomy prescribed by the regulators and generate a valid XBRL instance document. The mapping process includes matching the concepts reported by the companies to the corresponding element in the taxonomy. Information like period of data, unit of measurement, the scale of reporting etc., should be included in addition to assigning XBRL tag from taxonomy in the instance document.

XBRL instance documents are business reports in an electronic format created as per the XBRL rules. It consists of facts defined by the taxonomy elements with an explanation and their values of the context in which they are placed. The instance document is linked to at least one taxonomy that defines the labels, contexts, or references.

Benefits of XBRL Filing

An XBRL filing provides the following benefits in respect of analysis and business reporting:

  • Automated data collection
  • Reliable and accurate
  • Time-saving process
  • Analytical process
  • Improved way of reporting
  • Safe in data handling
  • Cost-effective
  • Helps in better decision making

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are solely for information purposes. No attorney-client relationship is created when you access or use the site or the materials. The information presented on this site does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.

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Quick Summary

XBRL is a language used for financial data reporting. It is mandatory for certain classes of companies in India to file their financial statements in XBRL format with the ROC. The filing includes various company documents like profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and audit reports. Companies must adhere to the taxonomies provided and benefit from automated data collection and improved reporting.

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