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New SEC Research Tool for Public Companies

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has decided to replace its antiquated public company disclosure system called EDGAR, which uses a form-based electronic filing cabinet, with a real-time search tool with interactive capabilities. The system will be fully capable by the end of 2007, according to an SEC spokesman.

The new interactive system will use XBRL computer language–which is currently used by the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, and the Comptroller of the Currency. Approximately 8,200 U.S. financial institutions have been using XBRL to submit their quarterly Call Reports to U.S. banking regulators over the last year, according to the SEC.

The interactive system will allow for “widespread adoption of interactive data filing by companies that report their financial information to the SEC–a development that until now has only been a voluntary pilot program,” the SEC said in a release.