AICPA Expresses Support for DATA Act

Measure Would Require Government-Wide Data Standard

May 23, 2013

Contact: Jay Hyde, 202-434-9266,

Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2013)
- The following is a statement by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), in reaction to the introduction of legislation in the House of Representatives (H.R. 2061) and Senate (S. 994) of the “Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) of 2013,” which calls for the establishment of government-wide financial data standards for Federal funds:

“The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) commends the House and Senate sponsors of the DATA Act for including a requirement for the use of a data standard to tag financial data. Yesterday, the House measure, H.R. 2061, was approved on a voice vote of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. 

The benefits of using data standards to tag financial data will enhance the accuracy and transparency of financial and performance information. Data standards provide the best detailed yet customizable approach to gathering, transmitting and consuming data. And by utilizing consistent data standards, the Secretary of the Treasury will be able to significantly improve both the Federal government’s and the American public’s ability to analyze information from Federal agencies, providing an unprecedented level of transparency for Federal spending.

The data standard – eXtensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL – has been used for a number of years by portions of the Federal government in areas such as Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation call reports and public company financial reporting to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Importantly, XBRL is also expanding in the United States by state governmental agencies and worldwide, where XBRL is being leveraged to significantly reduce the compliance reporting burden and, at the same time, enhance the usability and transparency of reported information. The AICPA urges members of Congress to support this legislation calling for a single data standard for the entire government, so that other Federal departments and agencies are not left behind.”