Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2020

On September 30, 2020, Forbes published “A Technology Solution for Muni Bond Disclosure” by Barnet Sherman, an article that suggests that momentum is building for greater standardization in municipal reporting. In the article, Sherman notes:

“…The new chair of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), Joel Black, wrote that during his tenure, one theme will be change – specifically, technological change. Acknowledging that technology is transforming state and local governments, he looks ahead to what implications that might have for financial reporting.” And separately, notes that the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) Board of Directors “…approved $10 million of reserves for a multi-year strategic investment to modernize its market transparency systems to leverage the power of the cloud.”

Sherman goes on to note that standards are the critical ingredient to leverage technology for greater transparency, “For disclosure to serve its function of transparency, consistency, and oversight in the digital financial world, it must come in the form of structured data. Globally, the $50 trillion corporate securities markets report financial data in digital-sized bytes using Extended Business Reporting Language (XBRL). With its standardized taxonomy with well-defined and consistent terms, XBRL frames corporate market disclosure, providing readily available structured data. With digital data, the world of analytics bursts wide open. Suddenly the $3.9 trillion muni market doesn’t seem so big.”

Read the article.