SEC Approves Use Of Data-Tagged Corporate Reports

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week issued a release adopting amendments to establish a voluntary program related to eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). Registrants may voluntarily furnish XBRL data in an exhibit to specified EDGAR filings under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. This program begins with the 2004 calendar year-end reporting season.

The primary purpose of the voluntary program is to assess XBRL technology, including both the ability of registrants to tag their financial information using XBRL and the benefits of using tagged data for analysis.

SEC Chairman William H. Donaldson said, "As I mentioned when the Commission first announced this initiative, this initiative is part of the Commission's broader effort to improve the quality of information available to investors and the marketplace. By working to enhance the Commission's filing and disclosure process through the use of new data formats, including tagged data, the Commission can improve how content is organized and analyzed - improvements that will benefit everyone who utilizes the SEC's public disclosure process."

Data tagging is gaining prominence as a format for enhancing financial reporting data using eXtensible Mark-Up Language (XML) derivatives, such as XBRL. Tagging provides greater context to data through standard definitions that turn text-based information, such as the filings currently contained in the Commission's EDGAR system, into documents that can be retrieved, searched and analyzed through automated means. Data tags describe information such as items included in financial statements. This enables investors and other marketplace participants to analyze data from different sources and allows for the automatic exchange of financial information across various software platforms, including web services.

The full text of the release can be accessed on the Commission's website.

You may like these other stories...

A House committee bill that would require the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to exempt public companies with annual revenues under $250 million from filing their financial statements in eXtensible Business...
Welcome to the AccountingWEB series "FEI Financial Reporting Blog" by Edith Orenstein, the director of Accounting Policy Analysis & Communications at FEI. You can see all of her articles here. On December...
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on December 18 released the 2014 US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) Financial Reporting Taxonomy, which contains updates for accounting standards and other...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.