XBRL: You Can't Ignore It Anymore

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The SEC has poured $54 million into a new interactive reporting tool to replace the retiring Edgar. Now the Big Four say it is time to scrap quarterly reports in favor of real-time (read: daily) financial reporting. If the phrase "XBRL" put you to sleep in the past, it's time to wake up. And as momentum for improving the format of data reporting builds, the push for enriched information content is moving along, too. Indeed, the big audit firms are calling on corporations to report scads of non-financial data to buttress the financials.

A Vision Problem at Top Audit Firms
Do the CEOs of the top audit firms really want to use technologies such as XBRL to revolutionize financial reporting, or do they simply want to insulate their firms from liability?

Q&A: Microsoft's Laux on Finance Reports
The software giant's director of technical accounting and reporting thinks that once CFOs clear the Sarbox 404 hurdle, they'll show more enthusiasm for XBRL and the reporting of non-financial data.
Will the AICPA Take Over XBRL Standards?
Companies could be filing XBRL-ready financial statements as soon as 2008. But some observers worry that the definitions corporations will have to follow will be written almost entirely by accountants.
The Good and Bad About XBRL's Future
The setup costs for XBRL is relatively low, but without the proper user tools, regulatory filings can turn into "gibberish."
XBRL Will Keep Investors Wanting More
The programming language will pique, not satiate, investors' appetite for more information.
SEC Hires a Company It's Investigating
Hired on Monday to work on the commission's new filing system, BearingPoint earlier reported that it would file its financials late—and that it was under investigation by the SEC.
10-Ks, 8-Ks a Thing of the Past?
In announcing that the SEC's XBRL project will be done within a year, Chairman Christopher Cox said investors will be able to assemble their own financial data, rather than rely on current regulatory documents.
Even as SEC chairman Cox champions "interactive data," few CFOs seem impressed. Is that because too few of the benefits accrue to them?
Another XBRL Nudge from the SEC
The SEC issues a formal request to add an XBRL analysis tool to its online Edgar system. The move increases pressure on companies to voluntarily adopt the technology.
Will XBRL Improve Analyst Coverage?
If more companies filed financial documents using XBRL, analysts would be able to spend less time on data collection and would be likely to ''expand buy- and sell-side coverage,'' according to one panelist at an SEC roundtable.
GE, Pepsi Join SEC Data Pilot
More companies agree to provide the SEC with financial data in XBRL format, a program strongly backed by Chairman Christopher Cox.
Ready or Not, XBRL Is Coming
The SEC and FASB are gearing up for XBRL, suggesting it's only a matter of time before its use becomes mandatory.
Tagged, But Not It Yet
A small group of companies has signed up with the SEC to test Internet-tagging of financial data. Will this latest effort finally launch the long-predicted XBRL revolution?
XBRL: From Tags to Riches?
The SEC is offering limited liability relief, the ability to file using Form 8-K, the freedom to tag just a portion of data, and other incentives to encourage companies to file financial data using XBRL.
What XBRL Means For You
XBRL promises to bring a little context to numbers. And yes, that's a good thing.

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For a more laid-back approach to our coverage of interactive data, check out the blog posts below, or click to go to the main blog page.

XBRL? No Thanks, Chaps

The Real-Time Reporting Conundrum


Cue EDGAR's Fat Lady


XBRL: Is it a TWR of BABL?

A Question of Terms