Using XBRL to Submit Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statement Electronically in Germany

We are already close to year end and this most of the time is the period with a lot of changes in law / tax.

I would like to inform you that there is an upcoming legal requirement for Germany.

The new law (in Germany) is about submitting the annual statements (like balance sheet and profit & loss etc.) electronically. This is called eBillanz in German. For this electronic submission, the government decided to use XBRL technology. The first intention from authorities was to make this mandatory for years which start after 31.12.2010. But this has been changed now.

There has been a decision that the new requirement will be delayed for one year. This means the first year to be reported electronically now is the year that starts after 31.12.2011. Nevertheless companies already can use the electronic submission as the time until the requirements starts is being seen as test period.

The German government decided to have a direct submission from the ERP-Systems or any other bookkeeping systems to their server (similar to ELSTER). So far, no alternate solution like uploading the XBRL XML file on the ELSTER Portal is being considered. 

The creators of the taxonomy have introduced yet another change: instead of declaring name spaces in the header of the XML document, they have chosen to also declare name spaces in sub-nodes. This is of course legal XML and hence we cannot complain. It would be super to have the XBRL community agree on similar (future) patterns.

From our perspective we have this requirement on our radar and currently we are investigating the possible solutions. Next to Germany, there is also UK and Estonia with such a requirement. UK will use iXBRL and will start by the 1st of April, 2011.

We are interested in getting more information about the current process, what and how companies are doing today to submit the annual statement to the tax authorities, and especially, which tool they use to submit the reports to the authorities, i.e. German Bundesanzeiger.

-Ivan Koletic

Comments (7)

  1. Bob Schneider says:

    Readers may also be interested in two articles on XBRL in Germany written by Bodo Kesselmeyer on the Hitachi XBRL blog at and

    Bob Schneider

  2. Slawomir Skrzypek - Fujitsu Group says:

    Dear Mr. Koletic,

    Let me introduce first; as a part of Fujitsu Group we are a Center of Excellence for EMEA market in the area of Interstage XWand Fujitsu's solution for XBRL.

    Interstage XWand is a market-tested solution used by regulatory bodies, auditors, filers, analysts, and major enterprises is already used by over 100 customers in 27 countries around the world also in Germany some of the Regulators using our solution.

    The Interstage Suite's strict adherence to interoperability standards allows our partners to seamlessly integrate components with their existing applications therefore I would like to propose you cooperation in this area. Modular architecture of the Interstage offerings makes it easy for you to embed the components that best fit your needs.

    Interstage XWand offers full-featured, comprehensive and enterprise grade platform with extensive APIs that Microsoft can leverage to rapidly build and deliver XBRL-enabled solutions that meet your customers’ needs.

    If you would be interested in to use Fujitsu XWand API to integrate XBRL into your Microsoft Dynamics NAV please let me know I will be happy to provide you an additional information about our partner program and how we can cooperate in the XBRL area on the EMEA market.

    Kind regards,

    Slawomir Skrzypek


    Sales Manager

    FQS Poland Sp. z o.o.

    (Fujitsu Group)

    ul. Parkowa 11

    30-538 Krakow, Poland

    Tel.: (+48 12) 429 43 45 Mobile (+48) 606 298 596

    Fax: (+48 12) 429 6124




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  3. KT says:

    In order to meet the SEC filing needs Xteron has come up with an Online XBRL compliance solution which addresses all the SEC requirements in the most efficient manner. Our product with simple easy to use workflows is a low cost solution without compromising on Quality and is becoming highly popular among the XBRL user community.

    For more information please visit or email

  4. Kishan Suryawanshi says:

    We have a very good solutions for this. Please go through this…/prod_services_idealapplication.php

    kishan suryawanshi

    Iris business Services Pvt Ltd



  5. Laurent says:

    What is the status for Microsoft on ixbrl?

  6. Paul Davidson says:

    Great article. Thanks for the info, you made it easy to understand. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out Profit Loss Statement, I found a blank template here This site PDFfiller also has some tutorials on how to fill it out and several Profit Loss Statement sample templates that you might find useful.


    Before buying I`ve also researched PDFfiller reviews on other sites and I found this: <a href="…/pdffiller" >…/a>

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