Securities and Exchange Commission chair Christopher Cox said that data tags have been developed for the entire system of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, advancing the use of the Extensible Business Reporting Language for automating financial reporting.XBRL will allow investors and analysts to download financial information filed with the SEC into Excel spreadsheets and other software, so they can more easily compare the information across companies and industries. Preparers can also automate the process of closing a company's books and submitting statements to the SEC.

The tags will be available for download and on thumb drives on December 5.

XBRL reporting has been a voluntary program, but the SEC will be seeking commentary next spring on when it should become mandatory.

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