Seminar Reporting Standards in Brussels

What can we learn from each other in Europe in the field of standardization of digital reporting of company data? We received an answer to this question during the Seminar Reporting Standards that the Dutch SBR community organized on the fourth of June in Brussels.

Chairman of the day, Rob Kuipers (National Director of SBR) opened the seminar with an introduction to Standard Business Reporting in the Netherlands. During the seminar various international speakers discussed topics such as ESEF (European Single Electronic Format) and modernization of electronic reports using XBRL. In addition, Philips, as a large sized company, demonstrated the experiences with (i) XBRL and how it leads to more efficient business operations and a reduction of the administrative burden. Belgium shared their experience with the implementation of e-Invoicing. Finally, PwC presented the results of an investigation into the current situation regarding the digitization of the auditor's report in Europe. It showed that there are major differences between the Member States.

 What did the seminar bring us?

The seminar focused on learning from each other. Participants and speakers listened to each other's practical experiences and debated with each other during the panel discussion. The following topics were covered with great enthusiasm: standardization across national borders, cross-domain standardization, organization of trust frameworks (governance), step-by-step implementation of standards, Public Private Partnerships and the need to start early with preparations for electronic depositing by large sized companies.

The seminar also provided insight into the expectations that companies and governments in the various countries have with regard to standardization of digital reporting of company data and harmonization in Europe, with particular attention to providing assurance on digital reports. Who takes which role and which steps should be taken by whom? It became clear that there is a need for a statement from the European Commission on how to deal with the auditor's report on the digital financial statements of large sized companies.

SBR international network

The seminar laid the foundation for a stronger and larger international network for SBR. During drinks, participating countries had the opportunity to share their vision and ambitions.

Impression of the day

Curious about the vision and experiences of some speakers and participants? Watch the video below.

(On-screen title: International Seminar Reporting Standards. On-screen text: Brussels, June 4th, 2019. Rob Kuipers:)


I think digitalization of business reporting is essential.

(A man descends a staircase. People shake each other's hands. John Turner:)


The more that can be done to reduce the extent
to which that information is duplicative, the better.
That reduces burden and improves the quality of the information.

(In a large room, a man speaks to an audience from behind a lectern.)


Standards are introduced so that digital reporting is not only digital,
but it's digital and standardized, in order to make life easier.

(The people in the room rise from their seats. Anna Szafnicka:)


I believe the contribution, from a filer perspective,
is to urge the regulators to ensure that there is one taxonomy for all the filings.

(The audience listens attentively. Joost Oosterbroek:)


In the Netherlands, we already operate
with standardized business reporting in multiple fields of expertise,
which is the banking industry and the chamber of commerce
or the business authorities.

(Sander 't Hoen:)

Everybody should go ahead and take some steps to make the project a success.
It will take time, it will take consistency of approach and of vision.
You need to get people to rally around that idea.

(The Dutch coat of arms. The screen turns dark blue and white. On-screen text: Seminar Reporting Standards, Brussels, June 4th 2019. Organized by public and private partners of SBR program the Netherlands.