The Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that the Commission staff will offer expedited reviews of registration statements and annual reports to companies that volunteer for a test group as part of the Commission's interactive data initiative.
Interactive data holds the promise of transforming the static, text-only documents companies file with the SEC into dynamic financial reports that can be quickly and easily accessed and analyzed.
SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said, "The best way for filers to understand how interactive data works is to participate in the voluntary program. The filers will have an opportunity to share with the SEC their individual experiences with preparing, making and analyzing their interactive filings. They will also better understand how interactive data can help streamline their financial reporting process."
In April 2005, the Commission began a voluntary program for receiving financial information using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) - a computer language that makes financial data interactive. This program allows for the voluntary submission of XBRL documents as exhibits to periodic reports from corporate issuers and Investment Company Act reports.
Companies that participate in the voluntary program's new test group will furnish financial data contained in their periodic and investment company reports in XBRL format for at least one year and provide feedback on their experiences, including the costs and benefits associated with reporting in the interactive data format. Because of the efficiencies staff anticipates in reviewing their filings prepared in XBRL and to encourage participation in the test group, the Commission staff will offer volunteers expedited reviews of registration statements under the Securities Act of 1933 that the staff has selected for review. For well-known seasoned issuers, the Division of Corporation Finance staff will offer to inform volunteers whether or not the staff will select their annual reports on Form 10-K for review. The staff will notify each well-known seasoned issuer volunteer whether it will select the volunteer's Form 10-K for review within 30 days after filing and will undertake to provide any comments on that filing within 45-60 days of filing.