A week after proposing requirements for public companies to start filing their financial statements with interactive data tags, the Securities and Exchange Commission wants mutual fund companies to begin filing risk and return information using the technology.

The SEC has proposed that mutual fund providers file summaries from their prospectuses in Extensible Business Reporting Language format by Dec. 31, 2009. XBRL format makes the information easier for investors to analyze and compare. Investors would be able to compare information about fees, performance and strategies from more than 8,000 mutual funds.

Last month, the SEC introduced a viewer containing sample XBRL information on about 20 funds from companies such as Fidelity Investments, John Hancock and OppenheimerFunds (see SEC Provides Mutual Fund Comparisons via XBRL).

Approximately 10,000 users have accessed the viewer in the past month, according to Rivet Software president Mike Rohan (pictured), whose company developed the viewer. "You can compare the objectives, risks and returns of the different funds in a really easy way," he said. "You don't have to thumb through all the paper they typically deliver."

Rivet has also created another viewer for the SEC that lets users compare 10K and 10Q financial statements. That viewer also attracted about 10,000 users in the past month, according to Rohan.

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