Blog  •  July 03, 2024

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FDTA Forum 2024 Highlights a New Era of Financial Reporting

Last week’s FDTA Forum 2024, hosted by the Data Foundation in partnership with DFIN, gave industry participants the opportunity to talk about a subject on everyone’s mind: the Financial Data Transparency Act, which will make financial information more accessible, more uniform, and more useful to all stakeholders. And people had a lot to say.

It’s no exaggeration that financial professionals in both the public and private sectors are eagerly anticipating the expected proposed joint rules that establish data standards for the collection of information.

DFIN’s own John Truzzolino, Director of Business Development, summed up the importance of what comes next. In a panel discussion with Liz Sweeney, President of Nutshell Associates, LLC, and moderated by the Data Foundation’s Ashley Nelle-Davis, John noted that the rules are just the first step in a process that will involve many stakeholders.

“We need early adoption of the standards to get feedback, not just comment letters, but a beta program or a pilot,” he said. “It's through those pilots and those early engagements that you can really start to bring stakeholders in a technology that doesn't just meet the current needs but addresses a bigger solution.”

That’s the true promise of the FDTA, which requires organizations to adopt reporting processes that adhere to fully searchable and machine-readable non-proprietary data formats, including iXBRL/XBRL.

Liz, a municipal advisor, was hopeful that the rules would address the high costs associated with manual data collection. She also wanted to see players in the municipal market empowered to analyze large, diverse data sets.

“Right now,” she said, “if you're an analyst and you want to answer what I think are basic analytic questions like what's what city has the lowest liquidity? Or which cities have the highest reliance on property taxes or hotel taxes or sales taxes? Or who has the lowest or the greatest overhead liability? It's functionally impossible to answer those questions. Because it can't, you just can't get the data across a broad enough section of the market.”

The FDTA should solve those challenges and more.

I had the pleasure of kicking off the event along with Nick Hart, President, and CEO of the Data Foundation. DFIN and I have supported the Foundation for years because we believe in its goals.

Not coincidentally, DFIN’s transformation into a SaaS company makes us well-positioned to help enterprises leverage the FDTA. We have the products — ActiveDisclosure and other software tools — as well as a host of XBRL experts that enable us to manage, analyze and leverage data for regulatory compliance and transparency. DFIN works with public and private companies as well as government agencies.

We anticipate the proposed rules to be released shortly, with the final rules announced in December, so stay tuned.


Finally, I want to thank John Truzzolino, whose participation in the FDTA Forum was his last official act as a DFIN employee. John retired last week, capping a 34-year DFIN career. During that time, he has been a tremendous leader, friend, colleague, and mentor. His work has helped pave the way for the new era of financial reporting that we are entering today.

All of us at DFIN wish John a happy and healthy retirement.

Craig Clay

Craig Clay

President, Global Capital Markets, DFIN