SOURCE: UBmatrix

May 14, 2008 13:02 ET

SEC Rule Proposal Mandates XBRL Filings for Large Accelerated Filers

Sunir Kapoor, XBRL US Board Member and CEO of UBmatrix, Provides Perspective on the SEC Announcement

Most Fortune 500 Companies Will Be Mandated to File SEC Reports in XBRL

UBmatrix Listed as Provider to Assist Companies Participating in SEC VFP

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - May 14, 2008) - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in an open meeting earlier today has adopted a Rule Proposal that mandates interactive data (XBRL) filings of SEC reports public companies, beginning with "large accelerated filers." Under the new rule, most Fortune 500 companies, among others, will be required to submit their reports in XBRL beginning with fiscal periods ending December 15th, 2008. All other public companies will be required to file in XBRL in a phased approach.

Sunir Kapoor, a board member of XBRL US, an organization dedicated to advancing the understanding and use of XBRL standards, and chief executive officer of UBmatrix, Inc., the leading provider of XBRL information exchange solutions, provided perspective on today's announcement. XBRL US is also the organization contracted by the SEC to create the US GAAP taxonomy.

"This is one of the most important changes since the Securities Act of 1934 and when Edgar put filings online in 1996," said Sunir Kapoor, a board member of XBRL US and chief executive officer of UBmatrix. "With this rule proposal, the SEC is effectively mandating that all large cap filers, which would include all Fortune 500 companies, submit their SEC reports in XBRL. The SEC is the latest in a line of regulatory agencies globally that are mandating reporting in XBRL format, following the FDIC and many European Central Banks. XBRL software makes it much easier for regulators and companies to collect, manage and share financial data and information, and that fact is driving the SEC's decision."

Kapoor noted that more than seventy-five leading companies are already participating in the SEC XBRL Voluntary Filing Program, and have begun filing their forms 10-Q and 10-K financial tables in XBRL, including IBM, Ford Motor Co., General Electric, Pepsi Co., United Technologies, and Xerox.

Parameters of Mandatory XBRL Reporting

The proposed rule mandate requires XBRL filings of financial reports for all "large accelerated filers," which would include most of Fortune 500 public companies, beginning for filings for periods ending December 15th, 2008 or thereafter. Under the rule proposal, all public companies, both domestic and foreign companies listed on US exchanges, would be required to file reports in XBRL over a phased-in period. In December 2007, the SEC had opened the XBRL framework or US GAAP taxonomy to public comment as its latest step along the path to mandatory XBRL filings.

Impact on Companies, Investors

"Eventually all public companies will be required to file in XBRL," said Kapoor. "This move will not only make it easier for the SEC to handle the thousands of reports it receives annually, but it will also make it easier for companies to file their 10-Qs and 10-Ks and allow them more flexibility in their reporting. For investors and financial analysts, the action will result in more accurate and robust information on public companies. It really is a revolution in the way information will be reported and consumed."

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox has previously commented that, "The new [XBRL] system will make it easier both to file information with the Commission, and to use it. For investors and analysts, it will represent a quantum leap over existing disclosure technologies. For companies, it will mean easier and less costly compliance with SEC requirements."

In a speech titled, "The SEC Agenda for 2008," earlier this year, SEC Chairman Cox further stated, "A standard data format for sharing financial statements and other information that is important to investors will facilitate the kind of comparisons among global investment options that investors need. The international movement to employ XBRL for this purpose will let investors easily find and compare business and financial data with the same ease of doing a Google or Yahoo! search today. And it promises to let companies prepare their financial information more quickly, more accurately, and for less cost."

Sunir Kapoor stated, "With the raw report data in the intelligent XBRL format, not only will sites such as EDGAR be enabled to offer greater 'apples to apples' comparisons, but other independent sites will also gain this power and flexibility. The result will be a revolution in the transparency of public financial information, as well as in the level of knowledge or analysis available to the average investor."

Background on XBRL

Kapoor noted that the increased reporting and compliance demands on both regulators and corporations has led to a significant drive for technologies to help ease the burdens and inefficiencies of regulatory reporting. The XBRL standard, to which UBmatrix has been a key contributor, is in essence an advance of XML technology, the language much of the Internet is built upon. XBRL allows for the capture of information related to specific data, in essence a bar code for each piece of data. This simplifies the exchange of financial information, particularly at regulators and large global corporations that have disperse sources and various methods of collecting and exchanging financial information. XBRL tools allow for easy interface with popular tools such as Excel documents.

"XBRL is effectively the common language of financial information exchange, much as English has become the worldwide language of business," said Kapoor.

As noted by Neil Chandler, Research Director with Gartner Research, "The growing adoption of XBRL for regulatory reporting is spurring startups to create a new generation of financial reporting tools. XBRL reporting will drastically reduce the time required to produce detailed and standardized internal and external financial reports, resulting in increased transparency, report production cost savings, and greater confidence in reporting accuracy and regulatory compliance."

As noted by the Harvard Business Review, "XBRL makes it much easier to generate, validate, aggregate, and analyze business and financial information, which in turn will improve the quality, timeliness, completeness, and comparability of the information that companies use to make decisions."

UBmatrix: Provider of XBRL Solutions

UBmatrix worked with XBRL US, Inc. to build the US GAAP XBRL taxonomy, or dictionary of terms, for the SEC. UBmatrix has also worked with regulatory organizations around the world turning to XBRL as a reporting standard, including the FDIC, which adopted XBRL as the standard for reporting for its 8,200 member banks, and for European Union Central Banks, which adopted XBRL as their standard under Basel II. UBmatrix as also listed as one of the software vendors that are capable of assisting public companies participate in the SEC XBRL filing program. In a separate press release, UBmatrix announced that it has launched a new solution designed to provide public companies with the software and services needed to participate in the SEC XBRL Program. For more information on the UBmatrix "First Step" Program, please visit: http://www.ubmatrix.com/news/pr_120407.htm.

About Sunir Kapoor

Sunir Kapoor is a board member of XBRL US, the umbrella organization of leading XBRL users and developers that works to educate the public about XBRL and its application. Kapoor is also the CEO of UBmatrix, the company that founded the XBRL software code and the leading provider of XBRL solutions. He is a frequent commentator on XBRL issues and applications and is available to media to comment on the pending SEC XBRL mandate.

Kapoor previously served as a Vice President at Oracle responsible for creating and leading Oracle's Collaboration Suite. He had also served as Vice President of Strategic Marketing & Planning at Oracle. Kapoor co-founded E-Stamp Corporation and was its President and CEO from inception, and is credited with inventing the market and technology for Internet postage and leading E-Stamp Corporation to a successful IPO. Kapoor has also held management positions at Microsoft Corporation, where he was Director of Worldwide Business Strategy working for the Office of the President, and responsible in Europe for leading the Company's efforts in building its enterprise products business.

Additional Information Resources

XBRL for CFOs: A web page and whitepaper explaining everything a CFO or senior financial executive needs to know about XBRL and the SEC XBRL program at: www.ubmatrix.com/company/for_cfos.htm

XBRL Primer and Library: A variety of whitepapers and information resources on XBRL, including an "XBRL Primer" and FAQ are available online at: http://www.ubmatrix.com/company/reference_library.htm

SEC Presentation from XBRL US Webinar: A webinar from XBRL US which provides an overview of US XBRL regulatory activities, featuring a presentation by the Director of the Office of Interactive Disclosure for the Securities and Exchange Commission and other leading experts in the field: http://www.ubmatrix.com/company/webinars.htm

UBmatrix "First Step" Program: Overview of UBmatrix's solution designed to provide public companies with the software and services needed to participate in the SEC XBRL Program: http://www.ubmatrix.com/news/pr_120407.htm

XBRL US Media Conference Call: To outline implications of the SEC's open meeting and expected rule proposal, XBRL US will host a media-only conference call at 12:30 pm EDT on Thursday, May 15, 2008. The conference call will feature representatives from the SEC, accounting, software and investment communities as well as public company preparers who will provide some prepared remarks and be available for questions regarding the SEC actions. For information on how to join the conference call, please e-mail Michelle Savage, michelle.savage@xbrl.us or Lynne Hasluck, lynne.hasluck@xbrl.us.

Contact Information

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