SEC Chairman Christopher Cox is making a serious push to get more public companies and their accountants to start using Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, to publish their financial statements, and the day may soon be at hand when it's going to be required.

Cox hosted a press conference touting the fact that XBRL US, with the help of the AICPA, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Financial Accounting Foundation, the six largest accounting firms, and other organizations, has translated all of the generally accepted accounting principles into XBRL data tags. In December, those tags will be available for download from the Internet and on secure digital thumb drives.

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