The Securities and Exchange Commission has introduced Financial Explorer, a tool that shows corporate financial performance using interactive data in Extensible Business Reporting Language.

The tool lets investors analyze company performance via diagrams and charts. It's part of the SEC's push to establish XBRL as the standard way for companies to submit their financial filings, allowing investors to more easily make comparisons among them.

Financial Explorer lets users click a mouse to generate financial ratios, graphs and charts based on company earnings, expenses, cash flows and assets. The site lists several companies that have already begun filing their statements in XBRL, including Microsoft, AGI Resources, Infosys Technologies, Lehman Brothers Holdings and Adobe Systems.

The SEC also offers two other online tools that leverage XBRL: the Executive Compensation viewer and the Interactive Financial Report. Both are available at The Executive Compensation viewer lets investors compare what 500 of the largest U.S. companies are paying their top executives.

The Interactive Financial Report helps investors gather, analyze and compare financial disclosures filed by companies using XBRL.

In other SEC news, the commission has proposed rule amendments that would require investment advisers to give clients narrative brochures written in plain English. The brochures will be available to the general public through the SEC's Investment Adviser Public Disclosure Web site. They will give investors more detailed information about an investment adviser's business practices, conflicts of interest and disciplinary history.

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