Standard Business Reporting in Australia: Past, Present and Future
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Standard Business Reporting (SBR) is an Australian government initiative aimed at enhancing business productivity by reducing compliance costs. This initiative commenced in 2010 and is based on an international business language, eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). To date, general awareness or knowledge of the program is limited and the adoption rate by businesses is far below the government’s expectations. The objective of this paper is twofold. First, it describes in detail the different components of SBR and provides a clear overview of how the components work together. Second, it examines the issue of SBR adoption in Australia using the diffusion of innovation (DOI) model and the technology, organization, and environment (TOE) framework. Results show that the most relevant factor in the DOI model is relative advantage. Compatibility does not appear to be a problem to businesses but complexity potentially is an issue. Moreover, enhancing trialability and observability can help promote SBR. In the context of the technological perspective in the TOE framework, perceived costs is an obstacle to SBR adoption as insufficient information is available. The quality of SBR reports has hardly been mentioned or discussed but it is an important factor for the long term success of the SBR. The most salient issue in the organizational perspective is the lack of awareness and expertise on SBR and XBRL among business managers and accountants. In the environmental perspective, there is an increasing pressure for SBR adoption but the external support to help businesses appears to be insufficient. The discussions in this paper provide useful information to managers and accountants on how the SBR components work together. The findings also provide specific recommendations to the government agency in charge of SBR to help the further development and adoption of the program.
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