The transition to online administration of activities, whatever that activity is, will continue forcing entities to shift towards being able to communicate and exchange data over the internet.
The transition will favor those entities that adopt policies and procures that successfully facilitate data exchange with interoperability and hinder those that maintain traditional manual processing and require customers or business partners to employ repetitive manual data management in order to transact business.
The government can force entities to adopt data exchange policies and procedures to comply with legislation and/or compliance with procurement regulations, as they have done repeatedly; 2009 “Interactive Data to Improve Financial Reporting”, 2007 Energy Independence Act and the 2014 DATA Act.
If the level of confidence in a universally adopted data exchange not certain, most entities will not risk the high cost of miscalculation.
If an entities level of confidence is very high that a majority (if not all) of other stakeholders will be adopting policies and procedures based on government mandates that forces a universally adopted data exchange standard for enabling interoperability, most entities would invest the resources because they had to.
The 2009 government mandate created a financial reporting standard, XBRL, that all publically traded companies have been compelled to adopt. Those expenses have been incurred for the limited purpose of financial reporting, and the resulting XBRL taxonomy is an open data standard that can be implemented by any entity.
The 2014 DATA Act is going to compel any entities that are engaged in federally funded activities to provide financial reporting in an open standard by 2017. The obvious choice is XBRL.
If XBRL is going to be the data standard that applies to publicly funded activities, and compliance will require entities to invest in transitioning their respective systems to use XBRL, then there is an opportunity to make that transition more productive, beyond just “financial reporting” to facilitating “financial transactions”.
The XBRL-CET working group is a collaborative effort to expand the current XBRL taxonomy to include data fields beyond just what will be needed for DATA Act financial reporting compliance.
Working with a wide range of stakeholders the XBRL-CET working group will identify what data fields would be useful for various financial transactions to significantly improve the cost benefit for incurring the mandated cost to comply with the DATA Act.
The fork in road;
Wait to see what the government comes up with and then pay whatever the expense is to comply.
Engage and participate with the working group so that you are aware of the XBRL option for strategic planning and implementation, and so the data fields you need are included in the XBRL taxonomy for reducing your implementation cost and maximizing your return through expanded capabilities.
XBRL Extension for Construction, Energy and Transportation
There is a fork in the road and you are going to have to take it.