Compliance: Corey Booth, CIO of the SEC, on Catching the Bad Guys

By Debra D'Agostino  |  Posted 2006-06-02 Print this article Print

New technologies are helping the Securities and Exchange Commission in its effort to get more user-friendly.

Corey Booth is working hard these days. The CIO of the Securities and Exchange Commission is busy installing new technologies to help companies better comply with regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act—and help SEC investigators analyze filings faster, more cheaply and more thoroughly. Senior Reporter Debra D'Agostino chatted with Booth to discuss some of the SEC's tech initiatives.

CIO INSIGHT: What technology efforts are in the works at the SEC?
One of the big issues since Chairman Christopher Cox arrived has been interactive data, which essentially means making the filings themselves more useful. Companies are required to file electronically, but today, most documents that are filed with the SEC tend to be long text documents; they're not particularly conducive for financial analysis because they aren't searchable. So we're exploring how to get information to the SEC that is more analytically useful "out of the box" by using things like XBRL [eXtensible Business Reporting Language].

How will that help?
It means that the data can be searched more easily and by more parameters than just keywords. Let's say you're an investor and want to do an analysis of a company. You can go to our Web site and pull up the company's annual and quarterly reports with all the latest information. Those items come up on your screen and you get a nice picture of the firm's expenses, profits, etc. That's all well and good, but suppose you wanted to actually do some math on those numbers, or compare them with other companies. Right now, you'd essentially have to print those documents, retype the numbers into a spreadsheet and do the analysis yourself. We want to be able to do that with a few clicks of the mouse, because all the data we capture will be tagged in such a way that it's analytically useful. Some companies are already voluntarily taking on this effort.

Read the full story on CIOI.com: Corey Booth, CIO of the SEC, on Catching the Bad Guys

Debra D'Agostino was part of the original team that launched CIO Insight in May 2001, and has held several positions during her tenure, serving first as copy chief, then senior reporter, and currently as online editor, overseeing content and strategy for CIOInsight.com. Prior to joining Ziff Davis Media, her work focused largely on travel and leisure, and her articles have appeared in Consumer Reports' Travel Letter, The Elite Traveler, Agenda New York, Travel Agent, Westchester, Wine Enthusiast and USA Today, among others. At CIO Insight, she has twice been a finalist for American Business Media's Jesse H. Neal Award, and has received three national gold awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. She holds a bachelor of science in journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

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