You can run, but you can’t hide! The three-year phase-in period for the use of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is about to hit the last group in the cycle. Effective June 15, 2011 smaller reporting companies (and all other remaining filers using U.S. GAAP) must now attach an exhibit with all their periodic filings. The XBRL “tags” in the exhibit will allow users to easily search for and access specific financial information.

Yes, XBRL is becoming the de facto standard for electronic communication of business and financial data in accounting reports and business documents. So, you may want to learn a little more about how to read and write XML files.

Not excited about learning about XBRL? Here’s a suggestion: Combining something you’re not familiar with (XBRL) with something you use every day (Excel!) may make you more comfortable with the new technology.

CPE Link is offering a live webcast on January 26 on Introduction to XBRL. Instructor, David Ringstrom will demonstrate how to use XML and XBRL data in Excel. You’ll also learn which versions of Excel aren’t XML “aware.”