The SEC has announced plans to replace EDGAR, its document filing database system, with a new system known as IDEA, short for Interactive Data Electronic Applications. Companies making SEC filings using EDGAR will continue to do so through 2008. The IDEA system is expected to supplement the EDGAR system for approximately three years before replacing it.
IDEA utilizes the interactive data technology known as XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, which incorporates digital tags to enable investors to identify and extract data in SEC filings. In May 2008, the SEC proposed rules that would phase-in mandatory XBRL-tagging of financial statements in Securities Act and Exchange Act filings, initially beginning with filings by certain "large accelerated filers" containing financial statements for fiscal periods ending on or after December 15, 2008.
For more information about the proposed XBRL rules, please see the June 4, 2008 White & Case Securities Alert (PDF)