At least one technology analyst is arguing that the time has come for the Securities and Exchange Commission to mandate that public companies file at least some periodic reports in eXtensible Business Reporting Language. And to demonstrate how simple the process is, the firm converted several companies' filings—including large companies like Boeing and General Electric—into XBRL in as little as four hours.

Robert Kugel, research director at Ventana Research, says past complaints about adopting XBRL—that it is an immature technology that lacks easy-to-use tools—are no longer valid. In a Feb. 22 research note, Kugel advocated that the SEC should require accelerated ...