XBRL US has published the 2009 edition of the interactive data tags that the Securities and Exchange Commission will accept for coding financial statements in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
The "digital dictionary" of interactive tags use Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, technology. Former SEC Chairman Christopher Cox was a strong proponent of XBRL and pushed for a mandate that requires the largest public companies to begin filing their financial statements using the technology. XBRL technology allows investors and analysts to compare financial statements more easily across companies and industries, as well as load the data into spreadsheets and other software. It will be the basis of the Interactive Data Electronic Applications, or IDEA, system that the SEC is readying to replace its old Edgar system.
The SEC mandated XBRL for public company reporting, which will be phased in over two years. The largest public companies, those with a worldwide public float of $5 billion or higher - a group of approximately 500 companies - must comply with the mandate starting with their June 15, 2009, quarter. All other large accelerated filers must comply starting with their June 15, 2010, fiscal quarter, and all other publicly traded companies and foreign private issuers will be required to comply starting with their June 15, 2011, fiscal quarter.
The 2009 release of the U.S. GAAP taxonomy in XBRL includes hundreds of accounting and industry-specific revisions to the 2008 release. XBRL US also plans to provide tools, training programs and webinars to help companies work with the new taxonomies and comply with SEC requirements. FASB pronouncements incorporated since the 2008 release include FAS 141(R), 160, 161 and 163.
The new taxonomies can be viewed and downloaded at http://xbrl.us/pages/us-gaap.aspx.
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