SEC Announces Program to Facilitate Analysis of Corporate Financial Data
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the launch of a pilot program to facilitate investor analysis and comparisons of public company financial statement data.
Under the new program, data that companies provide in structured formats will be combined and organized into structured data sets and posted for bulk downloads on the SEC’s website for use by investors and academics. The data sets initially will contain financial statement data from eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) exhibits as filed with the SEC. They will be expanded in 2015 to include data in footnotes to the financial statements.
The SEC requires U.S. public companies to structure the data in their quarterly and annual financial reports using XBRL, which is machine-readable. The structured data files are available in the SEC’s EDGAR database as exhibits to company filings. To facilitate the use of this information, the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis will organize it into combined data sets on the SEC’s website in formats other than XBRL. The data posted will be as reported by filers; no changes will be made to the information. Each data set posted will include all of the relevant filings submitted for the particular quarter or year.
The pilot program builds on efforts related to the use of structured data in corporate reports, including a staff assessment of custom tag rates in XBRL exhibits issued in July. SEC staff also sent letters earlier this year to certain companies regarding required calculations in their XBRL exhibits.