Tuesday, August 19, 2008

SEC will require companies to file online using markup language called 'XBRL'


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will soon require that all publicly traded companies and mutual funds file their reports online with XML-based software called XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language). Financial reports online constructed in this manner will make it much easier for analysts to quickly figure out what is going on with a business, especially a new one.

The basic link for the software is based on the name, here. There you can quickly link to a specification document for XBRL 2.1 and see Recommendation-2003-12-31.

Information technology courses in XML will probably be modified to include this topic, which is likely to be taught in universities and by corporate education centers as a separate topic. I took a course in XML at Hennepin County Technical College at the end of 2003.

A relevant component would include the XPointer Framework at W3C, link here.

The Washington Post this morning (Aug 19) has a story by Christopher Twarowski: “Financial Data on ‘Steroids’: SEC to Junk Paper Filings, Require Interactive Online Reports,” Business Section, link here.

Will the SEC’s promotion of the product lead to a sudden gold rush of jobs in the area?

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