A lack of standardized, machine-readable data in government financing -- something similar to eXtensible Business Reporting Language tagging for corporate finance -- makes it difficult to compare the performance of projects and initiatives among cities and states. This article discusses inconsistency between audited reports and standardized data collected by the California controller's office in a project that maps the finances of 260 cities. Other countries, such as the U.K., are further ahead in this area.

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