Fujitsu, XBRL and Standard Business Reporting Fujitsu, XBRL and Standard Business Reporting

In June 2009 the Australian Government's Treasury department purchased Fujitsu's Interstage XWand software for its Standard Business Reporting (SBR) project.

Under the terms of the contract with Treasury, Fujitsu Australia supplied:

  • An Enterprise Licence for use of Interstage XWand software by Treasury and the twelve other SBR agencies
  • A custom developed XBRL Software Development Kit (the SBR XBRL SDK) for distribution by Treasury to several hundred software developers who will embed XBRL software in their financial applications which they sell to Australian businesses
  • Training and other support services

The SBR XBRL SDK  was designed by Fujitsu Australia Software Technology (FAST) in conjunction with SBR. FAST built the SBR XBRL SDK using Fujitsu's XWand Application Developer and was designed to simplify the task of XBRL enabling accounting packages for SBR (rather than being a general purpose XBRL API). Work on the SBR XBRL SDK began in late 2009 with an initial release available in early 2010. Fujitsu Australia and FAST continue to work with SBR - who own the intellectual property rights to the SBR XBRL SDK -to support and enhance the SDK based on user feedback.

The SBR XBRL SDK is used by the majority of the accounting software vendors whose software is listed by SBR as being SBR self-certified in their Software Product Register. It is also being used by other accounting package vendors who are in the process of SBR enabling their packages.

Background to Standard Business Reporting in Australia

The aim of the SBR project is to simplify business-to-government reporting and save Australian businesses close to $800 million annually when it is fully implemented. SBR will make it easier for businesses to report their financial data to a range of Australian, state and territory government agencies by rationalising and harmonising the data to be reported, providing a centralised portal (accessed with a single set of security credentials) and using a single financial reporting language (XBRL).

Examples of the type of financial reports that are covered by the new system include:

  • business activity statements for the Goods and Services Tax which are submitted to the Australian Tax Office (ATO),
  • financial statements (Balance Sheet, Income Statement etc) which are submitted to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and
  • payroll tax reports which are submitted to the various state and territory Revenue Offices.

At present Australian businesses are burdened by having to produce financial statements in varying formats for a number of different financial regulators. In many cases they are providing similar information to multiple agencies and using different credentials and access methods for each agency. SBR will use a single format for reports (XBRL) and a single point of access to government (the Core Services Portal).

The SBR "Business Benefits Factsheet" identifies that the burden of regulatory reporting to government will be reduced by:

  • removing unnecessary and duplicated information from government forms;
  • utilising business software to automatically pre-fill government forms;
  • adopting a common reporting language, based on international standards and best practice;
  • making financial reporting to government a by-product of natural business processes;
  • providing an electronic interface to enable business to report to government agencies
  • directly from their accounting software, which will provide validation and confirm receipt of
  • reports; and
  • providing business with a single secure online sign-on to the agencies involved.
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  • The lead agency for the SBR project is the Australian Treasury and currently includes twelve other government agencies. These are the Australian Tax Office, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the eight State and Territory Revenue Offices. The project went live on July 2010.

More information on the Australian SBR project can be found at:

http://www.sbr.gov.au

For more information on Interstage XWand please visit the Fujitsu Australia web site at:

http://www.fujitsu.com/au/products/software/xbrl-software/

or email us at:

xbrl@au.fujitsu.com

Fujitsu, the Fujitsu logo, Interstage and Xwand are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fujitsu Limited in Japan and other countries. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.