SEC urges companies to use XBRL

The Securities and Exchange Commission has urged US-listed companies to take part in its voluntary program to use the controversial XBRL data-tagging technology when filing.

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XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, has been mooted as the future of financial reporting, as it ‘tags’ financial data, which can then be more easily viewed and searched for by investors and regulators. However, questions have been raised over the complexity and cost of tagging the data adequately.

SEC chairman William H Donaldson said: ‘We are continually seeking ways to fulfill our regulatory responsibilities, while providing benefits to everyone who uses the SEC’s public disclosure process. Tagged data will improve the quality of information and the speed of its availability to investors and the marketplace.’

In connection with the launch of the voluntary program, Peter Derby, managing executive for operations & management in the office of the chairman of the Commission, spoke at the 11th XBRL International Conference in Boston: ‘Better, Faster, Smarter Business Reporting Using XBRL’.

Derby discussed the increasing demands to seek out and adopt technologies that assist in protecting investors and the securities market, and encouraged participation in the SEC’s voluntary program to further assess XBRL and tagged data.

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