WASHINGTON--Financial information about companies is sometimes difficult to uncover, and even more difficult to compare.
It's buried in footnotes to earnings reports and sometimes almost seems intentionally obfuscated. The Securities and Exchange Commission thinks it has the answer: a type of language for business data that could be to finance what HTML was to the Internet.
That was the plan, at least. There have been no fewer than 17 conferences so far to advance the Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, standard, and it still is not mandatory for U.S. companies. (The SEC started a voluntary XBRL filing program, … Read more