Which software is certified for what?
XBRL is a modular standard made up of modular specifications, enabling it to be used for a wide and growing variety of reporting requirements. This means that our software certification programme is modular too. To make it easier to see which software is certified for which modules, we have just published a new website page summarising this information in a single table; you can also check the individual pages for each software product.
For those not yet familiar with the programme, XBRL Certified Software status indicates that a product has been thoroughly tested by XBRL International and found to conform to the latest XBRL specifications. This means that certified XBRL software is fully interoperable with other certified products – so that, for example, reports created with one product can be successfully viewed, analysed or validated with another, without creating errors or data quality issues. It is important to note that certification does not guarantee any other aspects of software quality, but this interoperability should certainly be a vital component of high-quality XBRL software.
Using the new table, software users – and potential users – can see at a glance which software is certified for the modules relevant to them. To take some examples, the Inline XBRL v.1.1 and related modules are crucial for those submitting financial reports to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or within the EU under the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF), while these modules are of little relevance for those filing using traditional XBRL. Relatively few products are currently certified for xBRL-CSV, but as this space-saving format gains growing traction with regulators this is likely to be an increasingly important factor for software users.
We would particularly like to congratulate ABZ Reporting, Altova and CoreFiling on their ‘full house’ certifications: each offer validating processors that are certified for all available modules. These are ABRA Transformation Engine, RaptorXML+XBRL Server, and True North. It is particularly useful to have processors with support for all specification modules, enabling consistent, accurate data quality validation of a broad range of XBRL data. On the other hand, end-user report creation and review products are often specialised to particular reporting environments and so need only support relevant modules, and users considering software options should focus in on these.
We are delighted to see the ongoing investment by software developers in continuing to improve and expand their certified products. We urge users to take certification into account as a critical factor in their software selections, and interested software providers to get in touch about product certification.