EUROPEAN SINGLE ELECTRONIC FORMAT (ESEF) SERVICE

End of year reporting is about to get a whole lot busier thanks to a new regulation – The European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) – which will see annual reports ‘go digital’

OVERVIEW

As of 1 January 2020, all main-market listed businesses must comply with the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) when they file their next annual financial report. This report must be made publicly available in XHTML format and viewable online with all primary statements (ie Income Tax, Balance Sheet, Cashflow statement and SOCIE) tagged in iXBRL.

HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM iXBRL?

ESEF will require more tagging and will be in the public realm

While the ESEF version of the annual report sees all primary statements tagged and related to the ESMA taxonomy, this is not just an extension of UK/Ireland iXBRL requirements. Key differences include:

AREA ESEF HMRC
Scope of tagging (1) Primary statements only Full document
Scope of tagging (2) All figures (including footnotes). This involves creating your own tags (“extending”). Only figures which relate to the taxonomy in question
Publicly available Yes; must be published on your website No; private submission
Level of scrutiny High Low
Visual design Very important, must ‘look at feel’ like their PDF counterparts Not important
Turnaround time Quick. Year-end processes are time-pressured as it is Up to 12 months, no pressure
Audit Likely to be involved in some way Not in scope

 

OUR REPORTING PROCESS

The ESEF reporting process from Tax Systems requires no change to existing year-end processes or additional resource because it simply uses your previous annual report.

 

HOW WE HELP

ESEF needn’t demand a material change to your in-house finance processes. As providers of the market leading Alphatag iXBRL offering, which has tagged tens of thousands of accounts since 2011, we have designed an easy to use, cost effective and secure process to ensure ESEF compliance.

Pre year-end

We use your previous annual report PDF to generate the ESEF document. Imported into our software, primary statements relating to the ESMA taxonomy are tagged and, where this is unavailable, extensions and anchors are applied. The draft is then sent to you for sign-off at which point it can be seen by auditors, depending on FCA requirements (due to be clarified in 2020).

Post year-end

A final version of the ESEF document is produced. Pre-agreed tags are applied and any changes tagged, including new line-items or those where the description has changed. The final document is then provided for publication together with a review report.

 

KEY BENEFITS

  • Automates and manages the process to provide sufficient turnaround time
  • Minimises disruption to end-of-year reporting schedule and reduces workload
  • Reduces cost associated with report production
  • Mitigates the risk of errors and reputational damage
  • Standardises report production using PDF report input
  • Secure data transfer ensures sensitive client data is managed appropriately

 

MORE RESOURCES

Download more resources here for ESEF.