30,000+ state and local governments in the U.S. produce financial reports in a paper-based, non-standard format that is difficult and costly to aggregate and analyze. This has a big impact on the ability of state & local governments to evaluate their own financial health, set policy effectively, and obtain funding for important projects.

What’s the answer?

Putting CAFRs and Annual Financial Reports in standardized, computer-readable format will immediately improve the ability to collect, aggregate, and analyze data, giving investors and policymakers the ability to make more timely, better decisions, while reducing the cost of data collection and analysis.

The XBRL financial data standard is open, freely available, and used today by millions of companies worldwide. In the U.S., 6,000 public companies report to the SEC, and 8,000 banks report to the FDIC, in XBRL format, which renders their data fully machine-readable and available for analysis to investors and regulators within seconds of submission. The end result? Data that’s better, faster, less expensive to process.

What works for public companies and banks can also work for municipalities.

How can you help?

On December 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission is hosting a conference, “ The Road Ahead: Municipal Securities Disclosure in an Evolving Market” to address municipal disclosures. Be part of the solution. Make a commitment to better, faster, more efficient, municipal data:

  1. Attend the SEC conference . Register by November 29.
  2. Submit a comment letter to the SEC before December 6 showing your support for data standards.
  3. Get educated about standards. Sign up for news and information about the XBRL US Working Group that is developing financial data standards for municipalities.

State and local government representatives, investors in municipal securities, and other users of municipal data, all have a stake in making municipal reporting efficient. Get involved now.

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