XBRL gets US seal of approval

The acronym that has become synonymous with real-time reporting – XBRL
(eXtensible Business Reporting Language) – has just been given the nod by the US
Securities and Exchange Commission.

It must only be a matter of time before the practice of instant and
interactive access to stocks, bonds, mutual funds and company filings, hits
European shores.

The last time there was talk of real-time issuing of data was in November,
when the then newly-announced ‘Big Six’ made the argument for it at a Paris

At the time PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Peter Wyman, said the move came as
a result of complaints about the state of financial reporting.

‘Put up or shut-up… It’s incumbent for everyone to enter this debate,’ Wyman
said, and none too soon.

Now just six months later, XBRL is becoming a reality, in the US.

SEC chairman Christopher Cox said the formalising of the rule was part of the
SEC’s ‘war on complexity’ and said the new format would ‘enable investors to
find what they need quickly and reliable, without having to pore through pages
and pages of documents.’

Will UK investors agree?

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