Financial Reporting


The SEC adopted new rules that will require public companies to provide an XBRL version of their SEC filings. Under the new rules, approximately 500 of the largest U.S. public companies and foreign private issuers listed with the SEC will be required to provide financial information using XBRL beginning in 2009. Smaller companies, depending on their size and filing status, will begin reporting in XBRL in 2010 or 2011, with all public companies filing in XBRL within three years.

The XBRL data, which the SEC calls “interactive data,” will be required to supplement—but not replace—a company’s traditional electronic filing formats (ASCII or HTML) for annual and quarterly reports, transition reports for a change in fiscal year, and reports that contain updated or revised versions of financial statements. The XBRL version also will be required to be posted on the company’s corporate Web site, if it maintains one.

The first effective date will be for fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2009, and will apply only to the approximately 500 domestic and foreign large accelerated filers that use U.S. GAAP and have a worldwide public float above $5 billion.

The second group will begin filing in XBRL approximately a year later and will include all other large accelerated filers (with public floats below $5 billion that file under U.S. GAAP).

In the third year, all remaining companies using U.S. GAAP and all foreign private issuers that prepare their financial statements in accordance with IFRS as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board will be subject to the same requirements. For a full copy of the rules, visit www.sec.gov/rules/final.shtml.

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