David Kirkpatrick

February 10, 2009

XBRL and corporate regulatory filings

This has been coming down the pike for a while and now it’s arrived — XBRL and corporate regulatory filings. This move is a great boon for investors and anyone else who regularly reads quarterly reports and other corporate financial filings.

From the link:

The Securities and Exchange Commission is officially moving corporate regulatory filings into the Internet Age. This morning the SEC issued a rule mandating that the 500 largest public companies start to file their financial results using the interactive data tagging language known as XBRL by April 13.

XBRL tagging is said to make financial statements more searchable and comparable.

By 2010, all so-called accelerated filers, amounting to about 1,800 public companies, must comply with the new rule, and by 2011 all public companies must do so.

During their first year of filing, companies are required to use XBRL for the three primary financial statements — the income statement, the cash flow statement, and the balance sheet — as well as for footnotes to the statements, which can be presented in a “block” format. However, by the second year, footnotes must be formatted in a detailed manner.

Companies will have a bit of breathing room regarding their first submission. The SEC is allowing the first XBRL filing to be submitted 30 days after the traditional filing on the regulator’s EDGAR database system. But all subsequent financial results must be filed on EDGAR and with XBRL tagging at the same time.

December 19, 2008

SEC to require online interactive filings

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:31 am

The commission voted in use of XBRL for company filings to be fully implemented in 2014. This move will be a boon for investors in terms of getting public company much more quickly and hopefully in a somewhat less arcane manner.

I’ve done quite a bit of business reporting and had to dig through many, many quarterlies and other various filings. Right now it’s something of an art form to pull the information or number you really want out of those things.

From the link:

Financial disclosures by public companies and mutual funds will be provided in an online interactive format in the next few years under rules adopted Wednesday by federal regulators.

The changes will make it easier for investors to analyze financial data from companies, and the risk and return information provided by mutual funds in prospectuses, Securities and Exchange Commission officials said.

The SEC voted 4-1 in a public meeting to require companies and mutual funds to begin using the so-called XBRL, or extensible business reporting language, in their regulatory filings under a phased-in schedule for companies culminating in 2014. The deadline is Jan. 1, 2011, for mutual funds.

Commissioner Luis Aguilar voted against adopting the rules. He objected to the limitation of legal liability afforded to companies for some types of mistakes in tagging their information.

At a time of market turmoil and shaken investor confidence, Aguilar said before the vote, “We shouldn’t put investors at risk of relying on inaccurate information.”

Many companies already have voluntarily filed their financial data with XBRL data-tagging. Rather than treating financial information as a block of text _ as in a standard Internet page or a printed document _ XBRL language provides a unique identifying tag for each individual item of data, such as company net profit.

That enables users to extract specific information more easily from SEC filings, run calculations and aggregate data as desired. Company revenue, for example, can be tracked over several years without having to open up and review multiple filings.

The XBRL system gets information to investors faster and more reliably, and saves the companies money, the SEC said.