An Open Data Standard for Local Government Financial Reporting: How it Could Work in Michigan

XBRL, an open data standard, can improve access and analysis of public financial data for local governments in Michigan. Key benefits of creating an XBRL program for local governments include enhanced public transparency, easier data access for local officials, and a process to verify and compare financial data between local governments. Key challenges include the  complexity of building a data system for XBRL, and the variability in what resources local governments will need to comply with a new standard.