If you're a fan of the the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval System of the Securities and Exchange Commission, you may be a tad sad that EDGAR is going away.
Not immediately. But, starting this June, the SEC is requiring -- in stages -- companies to file their financial statements in a new interactive form, using tags and formatting from the eXtensible Business
Reporting Language (XBRL).
Here is the rollout schedule.
The idea, according to the SEC, is that:
Any investor with a computer and an internet connection will have the ability to acquire and download interactive financial data that have generally been available only to large institutional users. The new interactive data requirements will not change disclosure requirements under the federal securities laws and regulations, but will add a requirement to include financial statements in a new interactive data format as an exhibit.
The interactive data also will be much more readily massaged, for comparisons and analysis of results.
For example, users of financial information will be able to download it directly into spreadsheets, analyze it using commercial off-the-shelf software, or use it within investment models in other software formats. Through interactive data, what is currently static, text-based information can be dynamically searched and analyzed, facilitating the comparison of financial and business performance across companies, reporting periods, and industries.
The best part should be the speed of delivery of the interactive data. Companies filing their financial statements, once this gets rolling, will be required to post their financial statements in interactive data
format on their own Web sites on the same day they deliver the formal report of their results to the SEC.
If they don't, they'll not be considered current in their reporting to the Commission.
Here's the PDF detailing the action the SEC intends to take as its final rule on the subject.