The purpose of this paper is to assess the challenges and opportunities associated with introducing XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) into the accounting curricula. XBRL is an electronic format for simplifying the flow of financial information between software programs. It is a complex, rapidly changing language that is multi-disciplinary in nature. This poses difficult pedagogical questions. The primary question is whether XBRL should be covered in the curriculum or not. If answered affirmatively, the issues related to which topics should be covered and to what extent become pertinent. The concurrent problems of faculty preparation and availability of instructional materials also need to be investigated. This paper uses a survey methodology to collect information from accounting information systems (AIS) faculty members nationwide regarding these questions. The results indicate that the faculty members are familiar with XBRL and consider it important for accounting students to study. This survey also identifies important topics in XBRL, and the relative importance of XBRL as compared to other popular AIS topics. The identified XBRL topics are not covered in depth in present accounting curricula. The responding faculty members indicated that lack of faculty preparation and lack of instructional materials are the main obstacles to introducing XBRL in the classroom. The paper concludes with the authors’ recommendations for improving the current state of XBRL education.

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Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

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Department, Program, or Center

Accounting (SCB)


RIT – Main Campus