ESEF and iXBRL – New Challenges for Financial Reporting in 2020

ESEF will create immediate new challenges for corporate reporting in the future. The IFRS annual financial reports of listed EU companies whose fiscal year begins on or after January 1, 2020, must follow a standardized reporting format, the European Single Electronic Format (“ESEF”).

What does ESEF mean for companies?

The annual financial reports of listed companies must be prepared and submitted in the XHTML reporting format from the 2020 fiscal year onwards. If the annual financial reports contain IFRS consolidated financial statements, these are to be integrated into the XHTML documents using XBRL markup. XBRL is the abbreviation for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. To ensure the information is readable by both humans and machines, the financial statements must be tagged using a mechanism called Inline XBRL (iXBRL). A standardized ESEF taxonomy must generally be used for this purpose, which will be published annually by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

Objectives of the ESEF regulations

The move toward a single electronic reporting format is primarily intended to simplify access to financial information for investors, analysts, and supervisory authorities. By eliminating time-consuming, manual data entry into systems, corporate data can also be evaluated more quickly. As a result, the comparability of capital market participants will be increased and obstacles arising from the current varied set of transmission procedures reduced.

ESEF compliant reporting using XBRL Tagger

We can provide you with a convenient tool for the tagging process called XBRL Tagger. XBRL Tagger is a function in the SmartNotes software from our technology partner, Amana consulting GmbH. With XBRL Tagger, you can easily create iXBRL reports that are ESEF compliant, ensuring that you are perfectly prepared for the new reporting regulations.

XBRL Tagger:

  • is based on the XBRL engine (a generic XBRL processor).
  • enables you to easily assign figures in the financial statements to the corresponding ESEF or IFRS items, according to the taxonomy - either at the click of a mouse, or automatically.

Tagging can be undertaken directly in any format, such as MS Word, PDF, XHTML, or Adobe InDesign. It is also possible to reuse the data for subsequent reports.

Are you interested in getting to know our solution for disclosure management? Take a look at our detailed page here:

About Disclosure Management

You’ll find a detailed summary of all the technical information relating to the ESEF regulations in our white paper on the topic: “ESEF gaining ground digitally”.

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