Encourages participation from organizations with government accounting & reporting expertise
XBRL US, the national consortium for the business reporting standard, announced today the formation of the State and Local Government Disclosure Modernization Working Group, which is focused on using standards to improve the efficiency of data collection and analysis concerning the financial performance of governmental entities. The group’s efforts will improve government financial transparency, enhance the efficiency of the municipal bond market, and aid efforts to streamline regulatory reporting, including grant reporting.
One of the catalysts for the formation of the working group was the signing of Florida legislation, HB 1073 in March 2018, which establishes the Florida Open Financial Statement System, and enables the state CFO to build XBRL taxonomies for state, county, municipal, and special district financial filings.
Most of the 90,000 state and local governments in the United States produce annual financial reports. The lack of standardization in these reports makes it difficult to aggregate fiscal results and perform comparative analysis across public sector entities.
“Thousands of state and local governments produce data-intensive financial reports that are handled today through a largely manual process. Financial data standards that enable automation can free the data from these documents, increasing the timeliness and quality of reported data, and reducing the cost of data processing,” said Campbell Pryde, CEO of XBRL US.
The Working Group intends to build data standards for Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs), Single Audit packages, state-mandated Annual Financial Reports (AFRs), and responses to relevant Census Bureau financial surveys. Standards proposed by the group will implement existing accounting standards issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) to help streamline financial reporting for US state and local governments, as well as public pension systems.
The group’s initial membership represents companies, academic institutions and not-for-profits, including Certent; DataTracks; EZ-XBRL; Intrinio; IRIS Business Services LLC; Lehigh University; Merrill Corporation; Middle Tennessee State University; Northern Illinois University; Novaworks LLC; the Reason Foundation; Broadridge Financial Solutions; Thales Consulting; University of Maryland, College Park; University of South Florida; and Workiva.
Chairing the group is Marc Joffe, a former bank IT manager and rating agency executive who now works as a Senior Policy Analyst at Reason Foundation. The vice chair is Dr. Shannon Sohl, CPA, a Senior Research Associate at Northern Illinois University who has a background in auditing, financial systems and process improvement as well as financial reporting and analytics.
Individuals at organizations that have XBRL technical experience, or familiarity with state and local government accounting and reporting, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how they can become a member of the Working Group. To learn more about the working group, go to https://xbrl.us/home/government/state-and-local-government/.