Standard Business Reporting: Unequivocal and simple reporting

The success of private and public cooperation

Every year, Dutch businesses have to deliver numerous mandatory financial reports to various parties, including banks and government agencies. Standard Business Reporting (SBR) provides governments and businesses with an unequivocal, cost-effective, secure and adaptable method for the exchange of business information between organisations in a reporting chain.

SBR applies international open standards, including XBRL and web services, in a way that enables a high degree of automation within the business reporting process; from data gathering and transfer to validation and processing. It makes the reporting chain more efficient and effective and delivers substantial benefits to all chain participants.

Various reports

Jointly with market organisations, such as audit firms, bookkeepers, software vendors and banks, the Dutch government is the owner of SBR. Currently, SBR accommodates the exchange and processing of tax filings, statistics reports and financial reports on a large scale in the Netherlands. Given its widely acknowledged success, SBR has matured to a ‘best practice’ that can be adopted in many reporting chains around the world. 

Tax and Customs Administration
  • Value added Tax Return
  • Income Tax Return
  • Coorporation Tax Return 
  • European sales list
Chamber of Commerce
  • Annual reports
Central Statistic Office
  • Production and investment statistics 
  • Annual credit reports

How it works

SBR  is built into business software (making it SBR-enabled) and is all about data, processes and technology. Key word however is: standardisation. Labelling information in a standard way in the administration results in unequivocalness and thus the data can be reused in different reports. A standard language gives meaning to this information  XBRL). In addition, a digital line ensures the correct report is being sent to the correct party (Digipoort). A credit report is being sent to the bank, a tax return to the Tax and Customs Administration. Standardisation at its best, which means that there are many more options with SBR than purely the exchange of financial reports. Over time, SBR enables exchanging other types of reports in a standardised manner.


The main result of SBR is the large-scale reversal of the business reporting chain. SBR leads to a decompartmentalised way of thinking in the design of reporting chains. This increases the power of reporting parties towards the requesting parties in the reporting chain, while requesting parties have more resources to enforce transparency. Additionally, the benefits of SBR for all reporting chains relate to further automation of business reporting and utilization of shared services.

The main benefits are:

  • SBR reduces reporting and administration work.
  • SBR eliminates paper as a format for tax filings and financial statements, enabling organisations to reap the benefits of the use of structured digital data (better quality, lower costs, more timely.
  • SBR offers efficiency benefits: once-only input, several deliveries. Accelerating the process of compiling financial reports by intermediaries and businesses, lowering the cost of preparation.
  • SBR improves the quality of reports: less errors, early error detection.
  • SBR assures the reception and processing of the reports.
  • SBR is always actual as far as changes to current legislation are concerned
  • SBR is used internationally.

The future

All in all, SBR has quite an impact. More time to do business, fast and more digital communication, efficiency and quality improvement. And, with an eye on the future: a substantial decrease in transaction costs and a more advantageous international trade position for The Netherlands. SBR therefore goes beyond streamlining the individual business administration. With an eye on the future, SBR will grow in various reporting chains, increase in types of reports and increase in the amount of reports.