Touting the move as a “milestone in the evolution” of interactive financial filing, the Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that the NYSE Euronext is joining the small number of public companies using extensible business reporting language.
Although the exchange will use XBRL for its own financial reporting, companies listed on the exchange will not be required to do so. Currently about 40 public companies, including 3M, Microsoft, and PepsiCo, provide 10-Q information in XBRL format through a program set up by the SEC, which enables companies to submit documents in XBRL in addition to filing financials traditionally.
SEC chairman Christopher Cox used the announcement to plug the voluntary program, which has been a pet project of his. “NYSE Euronext is demonstrating admirable leadership in making their financial reports available to investors in a user-friendly way,” he said. “Interactive data has the potential to save significant time and expense for investors, analysts, and those who prepare financial reports.”
Via XBRL, companies can make income statements, balance sheets, footnotes, and other financial documents interactive and searchable online. It also lets users download the information in spreadsheet software. Financial-statement users can also download real-time data feeds to alert them to new filings.