Washington — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruled yesterday that public corporations and mutual-fund companies will have to begin electronically "tagging" key data in reports filed to the SEC and post the reports on their Web sites.

According to the SEC, the move to use extensible business reporting language software (XBRL) to find and sort information, makes it easier to compare financial results and has the potential to increase the speed, accuracy and usability of financial disclosure and eventually reduce costs for investors.

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