|Q The DATA Act aims at introducing open standards for the communication and publication of Government data. Doesn’t this require changing all the software applications and information systems of the reporting agencies, which tanslates into huge additional costs?|
|A Actually, the opposite is true.Firstly, existing information systems do not have to be changed to enable them to generate data using open standards such as XBRL. This is a common misconception, mostly based on inefficient approaches adopted by software vendors and users to embed XBRL into their solutions.In reality, as multiple case studies have demonstrated, existing systems remain untouched, and the conversion of data stored in those systems to XBRL can be achieved by deploying inexpensive mapping applications and by using XBRL Global Ledger (XBRL GL) as a bridge between source data and the XBRL reporting taxonomy of choice.
Secondly, the inexpensive and more efficient approach to the conversion of internal data to XBRL described above has a high degree of re-usability in additional processes, even very different in scope and nature, internal to the agency or related to external reporting concerns. In other words, the same technology, once deployed, can serve multiple purposes and achieve significant cost reductions and process benefits for the single Agency and the government as a whole, contributing to the automation of manual and inefficient data-related processes.
This means that not only the introduction of open standards for the publication of Government data has a low impact in terms of additional IT costs for the single Agencies, it will also drive cost savings and increased efficiencies much beyond the scope of the specific reporting concern for which it was initially introduced.
XBRL FAQ – DATA Act Special Edition: Will Adoption of Open Standards Cost A Lot to the Government?
If you have a XBRL question that you think is of general interest, just contact me or send me a direct tweet at @iphixbrl. I will answer it as an XBRL FAQ.