SIE (file format)

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The SIE format is an open standard for transferring accounting data between different software produced by different software suppliers.

SIE could be used to transfer data between software on the same computer, but also used for sending data between companies, for example between the company, the accountant and the audit. It can also be used for transferring from trade pre-systems like payables, receivables and salary systems to accounting as well as from accounting to tax administrative special applications.

File format[edit]

SIE is a tagged text file format, not XML like XBRL GL and UN/CEFACT accounting. Elder not able to use new XML technology, but about 20 times compacter file format.

The SIE files are in five sections:

  • General information
  • Used chart of accounts declaration
  • Used dimension/object (identifiers) of accounting declaration (making object related accounting analyse possible from SIE data)
  • Balances of accounts (of this, last and possibly more previous years, for the total and for each object)
  • Accounting entries (of this year)


SIE was formed in 1994 as a Swedish national Accounting standard SW vendor and specialist (accountant/audits) interest group and its accounting data file interchange specification has full market implementation in Sweden in all types of accounting SW. It is more or less a demand for purchase in Sweden that products do have SIE support.

SIE is closely related to the Swedish standard charts of accounts organisation BAS (accounting) (the most advanced and fully covering standard account chart in the world), and SIE is one of the owning members of BAS. However the SIE file format works with any charts of accounts and is technically independent of BAS. However together they make a strong concept for accounting information interchange that has proven working firmly since 20 years.

SIE has since year meeting 2012 developed the previous relations with XBRL Sweden and the board is working on a SIE XBRL GL implementation. Most likely the present SIE will stay in business for the future in parallel with a compatible SIE XBRL GL implementation.

SIE is not an SIS (Swedish Standards Institute local ISO) national standard because SIS is organised on pay documentation and nobody in the computer world are paying for standard documents. SIE wants its specifications to be open available. SIE is however a member of SIS.

A large Swedish domestic market implementation rate[edit]

Due to the fact that the SIE standard is so well spread in the software business in Sweden it has become a de facto standard for transferring accounting data in Sweden. The format is open to everyone, but only SIE members can get their software approved.

A vendor interest group, not a standards organisation[edit]

As a vendor interest group SIE is not bound to the statements of neutrality against proprietary solutions of regular standards organisations. That makes the SIE specification also include implementation instruction layer that is not possible in official standards organisations work. The implementation instruction layer has helped a lot in limiting dialects and makes certain the information interchange work in practice. Beside the vendors are members this is a key of the huge implementation rate in the Swedish domestic market.

The government procurement aspect[edit]

A very different approach from standards organisations where other aspects like, recognition in government procurement is not possible, due to the EU regulations on government procurement demands. A negative aspect for the vendors but also for the Swedish governmental administration, that tend to bend into their own accounting culture separated from the accounting culture in private business.

International aspect[edit]

A side effect is that a large portion of Accounting SW in the world market (being marked in Sweden), does support SIE (at least as orderable extra feature) and SIE could be used for accounting information interchange outside Sweden. The development of support conversions for XBRL GL and UN/CEFACT accounting leads to SIE as a path of getting data indirectly from elder systems to the XML technology of XBRL GL and UN/CEFACT accounting. However, this means that the SIE implementation approach will come with it regardless the file format. There are very few other alternatives internationally.

SIE, however, refuse to go international and refuse make further development steps (because large members claim at the 2013 year meeting they can’t see the paying customer of expensive SW development projects that will come out of it).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  • "The SIE format". Retrieved 19 August 2014.