1.One of the key XBRL tasks that students need to know is how to XBRL “tag” financial line items and footnote references.  The following material shows how to find XBRL tags using

2.Once you know how to access then you can use it on your mobile devices (like IPAD) anywhere at the college and anytime that you have a wireless internet connection.  If you know the line item name, then you can link through to a definition and out to an Accounting Standard Codification(ASC) reference number with the regulations on recognition, measurement and disclosure.


3.The first screen that you see at follows below. The key features are a box to load an accounting term (which you already know).  If you don’t know what major category (financial statement type … balance sheet, income statement, etc), you can search all categories.  Keep in mind that there are some 16,000 tags in the XBRL taxonomy.  If you don’t choose a category, there will be potentially hundreds of hits on the database.


4.Our first example will choose “goodwill” as the search term. Because we are at least in the beginning financial accounting class, we will narrow search to Balance Sheet which is know as the “Statement of Financial Position” in the XBRL data base. Hit Search.




5.We now see that goodwill as an accounting term was found 5 times in the balance sheet.  We select “goodwill” from search list because the other search hits say excluding goodwill.


First Search List.



6.Next, detailed information appears about goodwill as per the taxonomy data base.  We can view the XBRL label (see the background links for a definition of an XBRL tag is in general) and the accounting term definition. If you just wanted to find the meaning of an accounting term, then you have done it. However, if you want to cross reference the information in the accounting GAAP codification framework then you will scroll to the ASC codification.  There is also a link the FASB web site to see even more details about the ASC code (the relevant regulation purpose, its accounting treatment [measurement] and the requirements for disclosure in the financial statements.









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