A start-up software company has introduced a computer program meant to make it easier for bankers to use Securities & Exchange Commission filings downloaded from the Internet.
Financials Online Inc., based in Bethesda, Md., developed the PC software for use with the SEC's electronic data gathering and retrieval system, known as Edgar - a vast data base of corporate documents.
By May of this year, all of the more than 16,000 corporations that submit SEC filings will be required to transmit their documents via Edgar.
Until recently, financial institutions and investors have had access to Edgar filings through subscriptions with electronic publishers like Disclosure, Moody's, or Lexis/Nexis.
But last October, after public-interest groups had lobbied for a lower- cost alternative, the SEC established a World Wide Web site on the Internet where users can download one-day-delayed Edgar documents for free.
Banks have become big users of the Edgar-Internet service, said Timothy G. Feeney, president of Financials Online.
However, Edgar documents are published in a format that is unwieldy for use with today's PC software, he added. "People are just starting to learn how to use Edgar more efficiently,"
Financial Online's Edgar Utilities software automatically reformats Edgar documents so they can be incorporated by a number of popular word- processing and spreadsheet applications. Edgar filings can also be reformatted in the HyperText Markup Language, the format used for publishing information over the World Wide Web.
Pricing for Edgar Utilities ranges from $2,000 to $50,000, depending on the number of users and document formats required.