The SEC announced today that Japan, China, Korea, Canada, Israel, and Australia are all on board with implementing interactive data requirements for financial reporting. SEC Chairman Christopher Cox recently met with representatives from the countries to discuss data tagging of financial reports using XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language).
Data tagging of financial materials is the process of identifying accounting principals with unique data tags that allow financial statements to be easily downloaded into various applications for quick comparisons over time and across industries.
Japan is requiring public companies to use XBRL data tags for financials beginning the second quarter of 2008. China and Korea already require XBRL reporting in some contexts. Australia, Canada, and Israel have plans for interactive data by 2010. No word yet on when the SEC will require data tags, but the Commission has allowed voluntary interactive financial data for over two years.