The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently mandated that publicly traded companies furnish their financial statements in XBRL format. However, researchers and practitioners question whether companies are adequately prepared to implement XBRL, and whether software tools and guidance exist to lead preparers through the process of creating XBRL-related documents.

This paper describes how early mandate adopters implemented XBRL reporting. Four themes emerged from our analysis: management support and involvement, implementation approach, organizational readiness or expertise, and control over the XBRL reporting process. Our study contributes to a more complete understanding of how companies implement XBRL by providing a basis for accounting researchers to identify current implementation issues and future research opportunities. Furthermore, we provide educators with a characterization of how companies implement XBRL, thereby facilitating their classroom coverage of this important topic.

Data Availability:  Data used in this study are available from the authors upon request.

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