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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cox Crows About XBRL

News summary by MFWire's editors

Chairman Cox is very pleased with himself -- his pet XBRL project is progressing quite nicely. Today he announced that the combined market-cap of all the companies currently participating in the voluntary submission of interactive data reports has reached $2 trillion.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox announced today that the combined market capitalization of companies submitting interactive data financial reports to the SEC has surpassed $2 trillion.

With seven companies joining the test group during the past three months – including Alcoa this week – more than 40 companies are now participating in the SEC’s voluntary interactive data filing program. The test group remains open to new participants.

Chairman Cox also said that he expects to make a separate announcement next week about another major milestone being reached in the introduction of interactive financial reporting.

“The continued positive feedback from our enthusiastic group of test filers means that interactive disclosure is well on its way to becoming reality,” said Chairman Cox. “Investors in the future will have instant, user-friendly access to company disclosures that are far more accurate than anything that is possible with today’s EDGAR.”

John White, Director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, added, “We encourage other companies to participate in this interactive data project that will transform how market analysts and ordinary investors alike can obtain and use financial information – in their own personalized formats and for their own personalized analyses.”

Interactive data refers to financial information provided using XBRL (“eXtensible Business Reporting Language”) or any other computer software language that labels companies’ financial data with codes from standard lists called “taxonomies” so that investors and analysts can more easily locate and analyze desired information in a public company’s financial statements.

In April 2005, the SEC began its voluntary interactive data filing program, which allows public companies to voluntarily submit XBRL documents as exhibits to periodic reports and investment company act filings. In early 2006, the SEC established a test group of companies to submit four XBRL-based filings in a 12-month period. These participants provide feedback on manpower, costs, and benefits or deficiencies involved with submitting XBRL filings. In return, the SEC staff provides expedited reviews of registration statements or Form 10-Ks from test group participants.  

Edited by: Erin Kello

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