Reporting 4.0: Business reporting for the age of mass customization

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


College of Business


Financial reporting has evolved over centuries in distinct stages. The first reports (Reporting 1.0) were the trial balances ensuring that debits equaled credits, using the terminology popularized by Pacioli. The next major innovation was formalized in the Great Depression, with Reporting 2.0 being the standardized and audited financial statements. Reporting 3.0 evolved as technology was used to augment that reporting process with ERP-based data and XBRL. Today, technology is still relying on the automation of existing processes in Reporting 3.0. This paper proposes the move to Reporting 4.0, where technology will change reporting as fundamentally as Industry 4.0 is changing business operations. What characterizes Reporting 4.0 is the application of the intelligence inherent in 21st-century technology to create an app-based reporting system characterized by mass customization: the ability for reports to be tailored to meet the needs of the heterogeneous stakeholder community of the multi-objective modern enterprise.

Publication Title

Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting