THE U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Interactive Financial Report Viewer, a free online utility for viewing XBRL filings, has been upgraded with new features, including a chart builder and the ability to export reports to a spreadsheet.
Launched in December 2006, the free open source utility is designed to demonstrate to analysts and investors the interactive capabilities of XBRL documents filed through the SEC’s voluntary XBRL filing program. The commission also hopes the open source developer community will use the code to develop more advanced applications.
|The upgraded XBRL viewer includes RSS notifications and a charting tool.|
According to a news release from Colorado-based Rivet Software, which contributed to its Dragon View XBRL viewer software and expertise to the project, almost 6,000 visitors from 50 countries have used the SEC’s prototype viewer to review over 500,000 financial pages generated in XBRL.
The new capabilities of the viewer include:
- Multi-tabbed views of filed financial statements;
- The ability to print and export reports to spreadsheets;
- A charting tool to create visual displays of key financial data;
- A supplemental, multi-quarter comparative analysis from two companies;
- RSS feeds that allow users subscribe to reports for either a specific company or all companies.
I’ve had a chance to fiddle around with the Web-based viewer. It’s a simple tool to use after you’ve quickly skimmed the help page to get a sense for what it can do. The RSS option works like a charm and the charting tool is basic but useful.
However, the biggest problem is the lack of companies participating in the pilot. Currently, there are only 36 companies that have contributed XBRL filings, and some of them are stale.
Seems to me this is a low-risk opportunity for companies to start learning about XBRL and the future of the Web. There’s really no downside to being part of the pilot program.
From what current participants have said, the costs are modest and once you’ve done your first filing, the rest is easy. Here’s the sign-up form for volunteers.
SEC’s Interactive Financial Report Viewer