A Good IDEA?

Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission unveiled the successor to the agency’s EDGAR filing database, called IDEA (Interactive Data Electronic Applications).  The 1980s-era EDGAR database is being replaced by a Web-based system that the SEC says should give investors better and more up-to-date financial disclosure in a new, easy-to-use format.  The move to IDEA follows several SEC discussions about the mandatory use of XBRL in public company filings.
According to the Washington Post, while advocates believe public companies will benefit through increased filing automation, others point out that public companies will have to face the burden of transition and implementation costs.
Although we may face some growing pains as IDEA and XBRL become reality, transparency and access to better information benefit all constituencies over the long-run.
The SEC plans to run IDEA and EDGAR concurrently over the next several years, after which EDGAR will come an archive for older filings.


Laurie Berman, Senior Vice President, lberman@pondel.com

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