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SEC mandates open standard for financial records

SEC mandates open standard for financial records, By Gautham Nagesh, NextGov.com, (12/19/2008).

The Securities and Exchange Commission passed a rule on Thursday requiring public companies and mutual funds to use a standard electronic format to publish financial information, bringing more transparency, and presumably oversight, to corporate balance sheets and earnings.

SEC commissioners voted 4-1 to require companies to use extensible business reporting language, or XBRL, when filing financial disclosures. The commission also required them to publish information on the SEC’s Web site as well as their own.

XBRL is based on software programming called extensible mark-up language, or XML, which uses tags attached to documents so users can easily find and share electronic data….

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