The eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) represents an electronic reporting standard that has gained global prominence. Yet, almost all XBRL academic research has focused on the Securities and Exchange Commission's mandate with little attention to international regulator XBRL mandates and how the consequent implementations have directly impacted the accounting profession. Accordingly, our field study describes India's Ministry of Corporate Affairs' (MCA) XBRL implementation. The MCA scenario is unique, because it is the first mandatory XBRL implementation that also requires accountant certification, thus increasing the demands placed on accountants. We first report the MCA's underlying motivations and summarize their perceived benefits. Next, we examine the taxonomy and relevant documentation, investigate a sample of 15 filings, and conduct semi-structured interviews with certifying accountants of the 15 filings. Our analysis shows 219 errors post-certification, 190 from company secretaries, which can be classified into four categories and nine subcategories. Additionally, results indicate confusion with regard to XBRL validation, architectural flaws in the taxonomy and a consequent lack of taxonomy understanding, no additional procedures undertaken when certifying accountants detect errors, and a lack of incentive to provide quality certification. In light of the extant literature, we suggest the MCA change its focus from document-level certification to data-level assurance. Our findings serve to advance the evolving XBRL assurance research.

Data Availability: Data used are proprietary.

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