Wednesday, December 5, 2007
The SEC gets downright effusive when it talks about interactive data, as a press release today proclaims "SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure Urges Public Comment as Interactive Data Moves Closer to Reality for Investors." The release goes on to "herald the release for public comment of computer labels that will help companies make their financial disclosures more useful for investors." The goal is to make quarterly and annual financial reports available in interactive data form so that people more easily locate and analyze desired information. The interactive data is encoded in a format known as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), which allows companies to map their financial information to a set of computer codes that represent U.S. GAAP accounting standards. The SEC's Office of Interactive Disclosure, created in October to lead the transformation to interactive financial reporting by public companies, encourages broad public review of the taxonomy and the corresponding instructions about how to create a financial statement in XBRL.