The Securities and Exchange Commission will make every public company in the US file its quarterly company reports using Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) within a year.
XBRL will tag different types of information held within company reports so investors can more easily find what they are looking for when they download individual filings.
Investors will also be able to compare companies’ performance on different measures speedily.
SEC chairman Christopher Cox said XBRL will “revolutionise the SEC’s public company disclosure system”.
XBRL will replace SEC’s existing company reporting system Edgar, which has been used since the 1980s.
Last week, the SEC awarded three contracts to IT suppliers to build a reporting system based on XBRL to US company Keane Federal Systems.
Keane will develop the new £28.6m system in partnership with IT suppliers Akamai, Bearingpoint, EMC, Microsoft and Rivet Software.
The UK government announced that XBRL would be compulsory for company filings by 2010 back in March.