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School of Business | Department of Information and Service Economy | MSc program in Information and Service Management | 2015
Thesis number: 14244
The business value of XBRL reporting for Finnish public organizations
Author: Kravi, Anni
Title: The business value of XBRL reporting for Finnish public organizations
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Information and Service Economy
Academic subject: MSc program in Information and Service Management
Index terms: tietotalous; knowledge economy; tilinpäätös; balances of books; tietojärjestelmät; information systems; julkinen sektori; public sector
Pages: 69
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14244.pdf pdf  size:4 MB (3422982)
Key terms: XBRL, Business Value of IT, Financial Reporting, Public Authorities
Objectives of the Study:

The aim of this study is to investigate the potential business value of XBRL for the main financial report receivers in Finland: Finnish Tax Administration, National board of Patents and Registration in Finland and Statistics Finland. The focus of the research is in XBRL adoption. Firstly, the current situation in these authorities regarding XBRL adoption was explored and any potential challenges in the current financial reporting process identified. Secondly, the leading European public authorities in XBRL adoption - Netherlands Tax & Customs, National Bank of Belgium and Danish Business Authority - were studied and their best practices and achieved benefits concerning XBRL investigated.

Academic Background and Methodology:

The thesis is qualitative in nature and exploratory in character. First, relevant literature on the characteristics of business value of IT is reviewed. Then, the theory basis is used as a background for choosing the themes with help of which to study the business value of IT in the specific case of XBRL for the Finnish report receivers. The academic background of the thesis comes mainly from literature concerning the business value of IT: the concepts of network effects as well as quality of information were seen relevant for the purpose of this thesis. These two concepts together with a summary of the existing research on XBRL form the theoretical part of this study. In addition, a number of previously used models and frameworks that have been used in the IT business value research are reviewed. Out of these models, the Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) framework by Tornazky et al. (1990) has been chosen as the most suitable one for the purpose of this study. Qualitative data was gathered from XBRL experts in three Finnish case organizations that receive financial reports as well as three European case organizations from the same field.

Findings and Conclusions:

The findings from the empirical part of the study were discussed using the TOE framework as a lense. The concepts of "Technology", "Organization" and "Environment" were used as explanative factors that may affect the adoption of XBRL in the Finnish case organizations. It was found that most of the potential business value resulting from the use of XBRL is related to better accessibility and understandability of the data. When the data is in a machine readable format, it is easier to disseminate and distribute among different government officials. No monetary or financial benefits from the use of XBRL were found in the research.
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