Government representatives, investors, analysts, and software providers invited to review
XBRL US announced today that it has published a Demonstration Release Taxonomy representing selected portions of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) used by state and local governments to report financial data. The taxonomy was developed by the XBRL US State and Local Government Disclosure Modernization Working Group. Since the group was formed in August 2018, members have worked to develop data standards representing the CAFR’s Statement of Net Position along with selected items from the Statement of Activities, Governmental Fund Balance Sheet, and Governmental Fund Statement of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in Fund Balances. The standards are part of an exploratory program to determine how data standards can benefit all members of the municipal reporting supply chain, from state and local government accountants, to data intermediaries, to investors and agencies using the data. A 60-day public review period is being held which will close on March 18, 2019.
“We expect data standards to provide real benefits to both creators and users of municipal financial data. Users will benefit by gaining access to granular, up-to-date information in computer-readable format, which reduces the cost of analysis and improves the ability to make informed decisions,” said Campbell Pryde, CEO of XBRL US, “Government agencies will gain through improved access to funds for investment in local programs. This pilot program will help us evaluate the usefulness of this approach, and determine a successful way forward in building standards.”
Approximately 30,000 state and local governments in the United States produce audited financial reports annually. Due to the lack of standards for these reports, the ability to aggregate data and compare the financial performance of governmental entities is limited. The demonstration release illustrates how data standards can be used to automate the process of collecting and analyzing financial data reported by U.S. municipalities.
Preparers and users of municipal financial data including analysts, investors, government representatives, as well as software and data providers, are invited to review the elements developed, and provide their feedback. Input received will be used to develop a comprehensive taxonomy covering the full CAFR plus Single Audit packages, state-mandated Annual Financial Reports (AFRs), and responses to relevant Census Bureau financial surveys.
Materials available for reviewers include the Taxonomy, in XML and in spreadsheet format, a Preparers Guide, and sample instance documents. Those reviewing the taxonomy will have an opportunity to post comments related to individual elements and the structure of the taxonomy.
Members of the XBRL US State and Local Working Group include DataTracks, Ez-XBRL Solutions, Gray CPA Consulting, Intrinio, Iris Business Services LLC, Lehigh University, Middle Tennessee State University, Neighborly Investments, Novaworks LLC, the Reason Foundation, Thales Consulting (CAFROnline), Touro College, Truth In Accounting, Northern Illinois University, the University of Maryland, the University of South Florida, and Workiva. Observers to the Working Group include NASACT (the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers) and the U.S. Census, among other organizations.
A free, 60-minute webinar is being held on January 23, in partnership with the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers, to present the pilot program. To learn more and register for the webinar: https://xbrl.us/events/20190123/.