SEC releases new XBRL analytical tool

XBRL US, Inc., the nonprofit consortium dedicated to the adoption of XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language), a technology standard for the reporting of financial and business information in the U.S., strongly supports the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) launch of an online, interactive tool that allows investors to instantly extract, compare, and analyze executive compensation for the largest 500 companies in the United States.

This tool relies on the power of XBRL for the compensation data and underscores the flexibility and usefulness of "tagged" data. The SEC announcement comes a year after it adopted stricter rules on executive pay disclosure that now require more detail in annual shareholder proxy statements.

The new application uses XBRL data created by the SEC and allows investors and researchers to immediately create reports showing salary, bonus, stock awards, option awards, non-equity incentive plan compensation, change in pension value, and other compensation figures for executives at the top 500 companies.

"The executive comp tool underlines the usefulness of tagged information in one important application," said Mark Bolgiano, president and CEO of XBRL US. "It's easy to imagine so many other reporting situations where the use of XBRL could make analysis easier, faster to implement, and even improve the quality of the conclusions drawn."

"Investors shouldn't be required to dig through mountains of information to find critical facts like the makeup of corporate officer pay," said David Blaszkowsky, director of the SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure. "The SEC is excited about how interactive data, using XBRL, can enable the investment community, even the individual investor, to be more knowledgeable and more savvy when making investment decisions."

XBRL US is currently under contract with the SEC to build out the US GAAP Taxonomies and develop guidance on creating XBRL-enabled financial statements for preparers. These Taxonomies offer the possibility of other reporting applications where XBRL can improve the analytical process. On December 5, the draft Taxonomies and documentation were made available for public review. More information can be found at usgaap.xbrl.us.

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