SEC unveils 'IDEA' replacement of EDGAR system

  • SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) (dark gray) Image

22 Aug 2008

The US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox has unveiled the successor to the agency's 1980s-era EDGAR database, which will give investors far faster and easier access to key financial information about public companies and mutual funds.

Based on a completely new architecture being built from the ground up, it will at first supplement and then eventually replace the EDGAR system. The decision to replace EDGAR marks the SEC's transition from collecting forms and documents to making the information itself freely available to investors to give them better and more up-to-date financial disclosure in a form they can readily use. The new system is called IDEA, short for Interactive Data Electronic Applications. IDEA will enable investors will be able to instantly collate information from thousands of companies and forms, and create reports and analysis on the fly, in any way they choose.

On 14 May 2008, the US Securities and Exchange Commission proposed that all registrants be required to file their data with the SEC in XBRL (interactive data) format. XBRL reporting would be required for registrants using either US GAAP or IFRSs. The transition would take three years starting in 2008. There's more information in our News Story of 16 May 2008. A few days later, the Commission proposed that more than 8,000 mutual funds trading in the US would also be required to file XBRL date (see our News Story of 26 May 2008).

The SEC's On-Line News Release includes links to a video demonstration of IDEA.


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