Within two years, the SEC will require all corporations and mutual funds to file using a technology called XBRL (extensible business reporting language) with the first wave beginning in December. This transition coincides with the agency's plan to replace its document-based system, for collecting, analyzing and retrieving data, known as EDGAR, with an Internet-based platform, IDEA, short for Interactive Data Electronic Applications. ...
... To illustrate the system during a recent interview, Blaszkowsky sifted through volumes of financial information with a few clicks of his mouse, extracting data from several companies and creating a multicolor bar graph to compare the figures. Then he exported the data into an Excel spreadsheet. What took Blaszkowsky only seconds could have cost hours for a reader of current SEC filings.
"The centerpiece of our regulatory approach is giving investors the information they need to make wise decisions," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "We have an opportunity to exponentially improve the way we perform that mission."
This will make it much easier to understand SEC filings and far easier for financial reporters and bloggers to report on it. Far more data will be publicly available in a form that is easily comprehended by the general public. Investor Relations practioners would be well advised to explain all this to management.