The Financial Accounting Standards Board (Faasbee to their close personal friends) issued their XBRL Implementation Guide: the first style guide of the FASB U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy Style Guide Series.
FROM FASB: “The purpose of the Implementation Guide is to demonstrate the modeling for disclosures required about events occurring subsequent to the end of a public company’s reporting period. The modeling has been completed using the elements in the Taxonomy. The examples are not intended to encompass all of the potential modeling configurations or to dictate the appearance and structure of a company’s XBRL documents.”
The guide has a few sections in it that visually illustrate how I often explain XBRL to the yet unenlightened mass. (aka: “most everyone else”) XBRL is like wearing 3D glasses when you look at financial reports. Without the glasses, you see just the surface, free-standing number. With the glasses on, you see the depth attached forever to that number. If we were in a spreadsheet program. you could delete the descriptive text first or header columns, and the numbers still know what they are.
The charts below is a nice example of the Taxonomies behind the numbers. Click to enlarge.
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