November 9, 2006 5:17 AM PST

Goodbye quarterly reports?

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Six financial heavyweights have called for companies to overhaul financial reporting to make it more suited to the Internet age.

This could potentially mean the scrapping of traditional quarterly and annual reports.

The top accounting firms, including Deloitte Touche Tohumatsu, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KMPG, joined forces to release a report on Wednesday that proposes a real-time reporting system to allow people to access and choose business information as easily as buying a book on

Details on what this new reporting model would look like are still hazy. But digitization and the Internet could enable people to customize the company information they receive and choose how it is presented, said the report.

A representative for Information Builders, a business intelligence company, said that real-time reporting is a "nice concept but difficult to implement in practice due to cost and complexity."

The representative said he does expect to see such systems emerging within the next few years, although there will not be a sudden shift away from traditional reporting until a handful of the big players make a move into the digital arena.

Gemma Simpson of reported from London.

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financial reporting, Real-Time


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