California Vote for State-level XBRL

Posted on September 13, 2019 by Editor

In a significant step forward for municipal reporting standards this week the California Assembly passed a bill that will set the state on the path to machine-readable reporting.

California Senate Bill 598 was introduced into the Senate on 27 February and subsequently passed. On 10 September, with a resounding vote of 64-0, the California Assembly approved the legislation. The Bill calls for the enactment of the Open Financial Statements Act, which would establish the Open Financial Statement Commission, a 9-member commission in the Treasurer’s office.

The commission will be tasked with building test taxonomies to represent public agency financial filings, and by January 2020, to make recommendations on how and whether state and local agencies should transition to reporting financials in a machine-readable format.

At XBRL International we welcome all efforts to improve the transparency and accessibility of data. In the United States, as in many other countries, local government borrowing through Municipal Bonds is facilitated, in part through the provision of clear and comparable financial statements to investors and ratings agencies.

Shifting from paper to data for these disclosures will help local governments obtain finance to fund the infrastructure they need. It will help investors make better decisions and price risk into bonds more appropriately, and it will help communities obtain greater insights into the fiscal health and priorities of their local government agencies.

Congratulations and huge thanks to the members of the XBRL US State & Local Government Working Group under Marc Joffe, the group’s chair, for all their hard work progressing standardisation in the municipal reporting domain!

Read the legislation here.

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