The Securities and Exchange Commission will decide next Monday on its plans for any requirements and timeline for public companies to file their financial statements in an interactive data format.
The SEC said it had seen success so far in its tests of companies voluntarily filing their financials in Extensible Business Reporting Language. XBRL tags are supposed to make the data easier for investors to compare and analyze with software such as Microsoft Excel. U.S. generally accepted accounting principles have already been translated into XBRL format.
"We see XBRL as the liberator of financial data from financial documents," said David Blaszkowsky, director of the SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure. He said the SEC would meet on April 21 to discuss the rules for XBRL. The SEC will also work with securities regulators in other countries to collaborate on further developing the standard.
Jon Wisnieski, senior information systems specialist at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, said the banking regulator has seen much cleaner data since it mandated in 2005 that banks use XBRL in their financial statements.
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