Friday, November 17, 2006

SEC online search engine

The Securities & Exchange Commission last Tuesday announced the availability of registration statements, annual & quarterly reports, and other filings by publicly-owned companies and mutual funds over the past four years on its new online search tool.

“Each year 15 to 18 million pages of filings are submitted SEC by more than 15,000 companies and other filers via the EDGAR system,” SEC chairman Christopher Cox reported. “Edgar full-text searches allow the user to enter keywords or conceptual search queries and retrieve lists of related filings, along with Boolean operators and wildcard capacities.”

EDGAR’s (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system) primary purpose is to increase the efficiency & fairness of the security market for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the economy,” according to SEC’s statement. But not all documents filed with the Commission are available on EDGAR. Some are not yet permitted to be filed electronically; some may be voluntarily filed or not. (More information here)

A article yesterday relates that SEC last month awarded contracts for its “extensible business reporting language” program (XBRL), intended to make data in periodic financial reports easier for the public to find and understand. That new system will eventually be replacing EDGAR.

SEC’s new online tool is still being developed and refined, and the Commission invites user comments & suggestions. (E-mail link on search tool)

SEC webpage
search tool

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