Mutual fund companies are finding that it's not too early to start tagging fund data with the international extensible business reporting language (XBRL) code the Securities and Exchange Commission has required them to begin using in July, though companies may find it's easier to outsource the job.

"XBRL does not force companies to do better reporting or be more transparent, but it does make it easier to search for information," for both professional portfolio managers and investors, said Sue Childs, executive vice president at New York-based EDGAR Online. "It will change the way people receive, transmit and analyze information."

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