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04-24-2016 10:33 PM

Thanks for the very enlightening article. Also, good travels in your efforts to help the government do good by doing well, as they say, so that we optimize the application of standards such as XBRL.

TechTalk Blog - US Government Moves Full Speed-Ahead on DATA Act and Use of XBRL Data Standard for Better Accountability/Transparency

By David Colgren posted 04-22-2016 10:25 AM


Interesting story in FCW about the current implementation by the DATA Act by the US Federal Government… The DATA Act requires the use of the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) data standard for the tagging of both business and financial data for better transparency and accountability. XBRL is a machine-readable data format that can be used in spreadsheets for faster, cheaper and better data analysis. The IMA supports the use of the XBRL data standard for both public company financial statement and government financial statement disclosures and is one of the original members of the XBRL Consortium through the leadership of Ms. Liv Watson (at that time – an IMA Board Member) and early evangelist of the XBRL data standard for the IMA.

Currently more than 25 nations around the world have mandated the use of XBRL for better regulatory reporting and as a means of reducing duplicative regulatory filings and more than 2/3 of the capital markets are using XBRL as the data standard for better disclosure.

More on the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA ACT) Implementation…

The DATA Act, is an open government law that tasks US government agencies with unifying financial reporting in public, standardized, machine-readable format on the website. The DATA Act is putting pressure on federal agencies to get their data in order and use the XBRL standard.

President Obama last year announced the use of XBRL for the Data Act.

According to FWC Magazine:  “Under the 2014 law, the 24 CFO Act agencies have until May of 2017 to publish their spending data (XBRL). At an April 19 hearing of two subcommittees of the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, members wanted to know if the government would hit the deadline."

Based on the US House hearing and testimony by government officials – the answer is “YES”. Government agencies seem to be on track based on testimony before the committee. Read more about the US House hearings in the article in FCW...

On a personal note -- I’m headed to DC next week to speak to members of the White House/OMB staff in charge of implementing the DATA Act across US Federal Agencies and hope to get additional information about the status and use of XBRL.

Stay tuned. As federal agencies move forward with XBRL – we will be hearing more from state and local governments on their use of XBRL for better transparency/ accountability of US taxpayer dollars for better government spending transparency and accountability and the linking to spend/performance indicators.

The use of XBRL is a golden opportunity for management accountants who play a major role in preparing financial information for both government agencies and public/private companies and will also assist them with better forecasting and performance analysis. 

Read Brad Monterio's article on XBRL and its benefits to management accountants in the April 2016 issue of Strategic Finance Magazine

Join the IMA's Technology Solutions Practices Committee and learn more about XBRL and be a part of its implementation across the public and private sectors... 




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