Could SBR have averted financial market meltdown? Bryant XBRL authority says yes

October 7th, 2008

Saeed Roohani

SMITHFIELD, R.I.  - The nation's investment banking crisis may have been lessened, and perhaps even avoided, if the United States had laws requiring the widespread use of Standard Business Reporting (SBR).

That's the opinion of Saeed Roohani, one of the nation's leading authorities on XBRL education. SBR uses XBRL - a markup language - or code - that simplifies the way businesses report financial data to governments. It also makes the electronic communication of financial data faster, cheaper, and more accurate.

Roohani is conducting research on the effect of SBR and XBRL on corporate governance, monitoring, and transparency. The governments of Netherlands and Australia require SBR to be used at all levels of business, and other countries are considering similar approaches. If businesses in the United States had been required to use SBR, "there would have been little room for mystery about types of portfolios and derived financial instruments that recently failed institutions were holding," he said. "Alarms would have been sounded long before reaching a crisis; the government and stockholders could have taken preventive action."

Roohani is a professor of accounting and the PricewaterhouseCoopers XBRL Fellow at Bryant University. He has served as a consultant to the Financial Accounting Foundation and the SEC US GAAP Taxonomy project. He will be in Washington, D.C., as part of the eighth annual Bryant University XBRL Conference on Monday, Oct. 13. The conference, titled "Standard Business Reporting: New Research Frontier for XBRL," leads into the 18th XBRL International Conference, also being held in Washington, D.C. That conference features SEC Chairman Christopher Cox.

REPORTERS AND EDITORS: Roohani is available for interviews about his research and about the XBRL conference. He can be reached at, or contact Tracie Sweeney, director of public relations, for more information.

Keywords: accounting, Faculty, finance, Research, SBR, School of Business, XBRL