Agoracom Blog

SEC – “Financial Disclosure Meets The Matrix”. IDEA Unveiled By Chairman Cox

Posted by AGORACOM at 11:53 AM on Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Good afternoon to you all. I just finished up listening to the SEC’s News Conference this morning and the quote of the day is “Financial Disclosure Meets The Matrix”. Quite frankly, this wasn’t an overstatement. You can watch the archive at the link above, read the Twitter entries, or review my notes as follows:

  • EDGAR will be replaced by IDEA (Interactive Data Electronic Applications), an XBRL-based platform.
  • EDGAR is dependable as a Model-T but you don’t want to be driving one today with all new car technology now available to drivers.
  • EDGAR was a system based on mainframe computing.
  • IDEA is now the next step, web-based system of 21st Century Disclsoure.
  • IDEA will provide faster, easier, cheaper and better data analysis.
  • IDEA is global, with 40 languages to be supported within data tags.
  • IDEA is good for small companies because it will make filing cheaper and easier.
  • The 21st Century Disclosure Initiative will host a round table discussion on October 8th
  • IDEA will allow investors to use search and search engines to gather and analyze data
  • SEC recognizes that it is simply easier for investors to get data via the web.
  • EDGAR is form-based, making data extraction extremely cumbersome. Requires searching through documents and cutting and pasting data 1-by-1, making mass comparisons difficult, expensive and only possible to experts or highly-paid third parties.
  • EDGAR doesn’t even allow investors to export data to Excel or other spreadsheets.
  • SEC expects third-party developers to write data extracting programs (AGORACOM will !)
  • There will no longer be an intermediary provider such as EDGAR. Investors will simply grab information and data.
  • Excellent example are sites that allow travelers to compare prices on hotels, air fares, rental cars, etc.
  • SEC Chairman Cox also appeared to bring up a screen shot of Zillow, the real estate comparison site.
  • IDEA will operate side-by-side with EDGAR for a while.
  • SEC is looking for ways to better communicate with retail investors using Web 2.0 tools such as Twitter. All Web 2.0 tools are available, including those that will come in the future.

“Hold on to your seat Dorothy because Kansas is about to go bye-bye.”

Financial Disclosure Has Met The Matrix.


5 Responses to “SEC – “Financial Disclosure Meets The Matrix”. IDEA Unveiled By Chairman Cox”

  1. […] Say goodbye to EDGAR and Forms. SEC Chairman, Christopher Cox, held an online conference introducing the financial disclosure system of the 21st century. It’s web-based and web-driven…but we’re not going to say we told you so! read more… […]

  2. AGORACOM says:

    Derek, glad to have been of help!

    David, thanks for stopping by. The presentation focused 95% of its efforts on the extraction of data, not much time on the import of data. As such, I can’t be certain but I assume from the following statements that we will be filing ourselves – and it should be easy once you’ve set it up the first time:

    1] IDEA is good for small companies because it will make filing cheaper and easier.
    2] There will no longer be an intermediary provider such as EDGAR that will handle and re-format filings.

    Don’t bet on it yet – but this is how I read it at this early stage. Once I know more, I’ll make sure to post an update.


  3. But the big question— will we now really be able to do these filings ourselves or will we still need services to “IDEA-ize” documents for filing?

  4. […] so you’ve now seen the SEC is about to change the world of filing and disclosure towards pure web-based systems. On the filings side, IDEA is the system that will be […]

  5. derek says:

    quick on the button there, George. Thanks, the list will help to print out and scare auditors