SEC votes in favor of XBRL use

NEW YORK: The Securities and Exchange Commission in an open meeting yesterday, voted 4 to 1 in favor of adopting amendments to phase in the required use of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). It also gave the largest companies an additional six months to for their first interactive filing.

NEW YORK: The Securities and Exchange Commission, in an open meeting yesterday, voted 4 to 1 in favor of adopting amendments to phase in the required use of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). It also gave the largest companies an additional six months to put together their first interactive filing.

Under the original proposition, the 500 largest public companies would have had to use XBRL for year-end 2008 financial filings. The vote taken December 17 pushed back that 10-Q filing to fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2009. (PRWeek's sister publication Compliance Week has more coverage on the rules.)

All other companies will begin using XBRL over the course of the following two years.

“This is a long time coming,” said Philip Moyer, president and CEO of EDGAR Online. “This is a giant step for a marketplace moving into the 21st century.”

EDGAR Online has been working with data in XBRL format for some time now and eagerly anticipates the next step.

“The SEC talked a little about the 8K,” added Moyer. “We're looking forward to getting the full text of the rules to see if there's going to be more involved.”

Business Wire, which has also been operating with XBRL for some time, foresees XBRL-enabled news releases in the not-so-distant future.

“The next logical step is earnings releases in XBRL format,” said Michael Becker, VP of global disclosure and financial reporting services at Business Wire.

The move toward using fully integrated disclosure is also a PR Newswire prediction, which will further help analysts and others looking to “zero in” on pertinent information.

“From a workflow perspective, it's a great development,” said Scott Mozarsky, chief strategy and development officer for PRN. “We're stressing to our customers that it's important to interact and engage with analysts, shareholders, [etc.] For lack of a better word, we think it's awesome.”

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