5 Quick Tips for a Smoother 2022 ESEF Reporting

March 15, 2022by Team IRIS CARBON

The European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) replaces PDF with xHTML as the format in which EU-listed companies must submit their annual reports. The xHTML format is a human-readable file format that helps achieve transparent reporting for better analysis and comparability. Companies preparing consolidated reports need to embed XBRL tags in their xHTMLs. The resultant Inline XBRL (iXBRL) document is both human-readable and machine-readable.

The following tips will help you with an easier and more effective ESEF compliance process in 2022.

Understand ESEF taxonomy concepts

Teams working on ESEF documents need to get a good grasp of the ESEF taxonomy before (XBR) tagging the line items in their AFRs. It is advisable to use ESEF tags as far as possible in the AFRs. Extension elements or ‘custom tags’ must be used only when no appropriate tags can be found in the reference taxonomy for certain company-specific disclosures. If extension elements are used inappropriately, the ESEF document could throw up errors and inconsistencies. Extension elements also need to be ‘anchored’ to ESEF taxonomy elements with the closest accounting meaning.

Preparing the company taxonomy is an additional part of ESEF document preparation. The company taxonomy lists out ESEF Taxonomy elements and custom tags pertaining to your disclosures and represents them through four linkbases – Presentation linkbase, Calculation linkbase, Definition linkbase, and Label linkbase.

Plan Well To Avoid Last-minute Hassles

Preparing annual reports in iXBRL format can be a time-consuming activity since ESEF is a fairly new format. The compliance process can be tedious as it involves the aggregation of data from different parts of the organization. One needs to factor in extra time for the auditing process as well since any changes suggested will need to be incorporated into the document. Companies also need to budget time to get the annual report designed so it can be proudly displayed on the company website. Working with external experts will help you work around time constraints and make the compliance process smoother.

Arrange Your ESEF Zip Package Right

A Report Package is a specially formatted ZIP file required to submit an ESEF report consisting of multiple files. The structure of the iXBRL package as well as folder placement should be in accordance with ESMA guidelines. The contents within must be properly structured and formatted so that XBRL software can automatically discover the XBRL report within the ZIP. The pattern of {base}- {date}_{suffix}.{extension} must be followed for naming the package.

The Report Package consists of metadata that should conform to the taxonomy file, the structure of which is defined by an XML schema. Failing to conform to the prescribed Report Package structure can disable a report to open in XBRL software and the document can be rejected by the regulator’s gateway.

Do Validation Checks To Identify Errors

It is essential to run your iXBRL package through a validator before final submission to identify the errors, warnings, and calculation inconsistencies. The three types of validations to take into consideration are as follows:

  1. a) Software validations: For your ESEF document to successfully enter the regulator’s portal, it is advisable to ensure that the latest ESEF Conformance Suite validations are installed in the software you are using to generate the ESEF package.
  2. b) Auditors’ validations: Running your report by an auditor can help reduce the possibility of warnings or filing errors. Auditors may use their review tools to identify all the errors that can obstruct your filing.
  3. c) Regulator’s validations: The regulator’s validations require you to rectify errors in your report in order to move past the regulator’s gateway. Unlike errors, warnings will not block your ESEF Filing submission.

Do A Test Filing Before Actual Submission

ESEF filers would do well to conduct a test filing before their actual ESEF submission. This would help them be aware of the regulator’s filing requirements and identify specific pre-requisites if any. The test filing needs to be done at least three days prior to the actual filing. An early review and testing will ensure there are no last-minute surprises.

We hope our ESEF filing tips prove to be of use to you. For a high-quality, timely, and cost-effective iXBRL filing, we recommend you choose the right software and support team. As Software Solution Providers, we have worked with thousands of clients to streamline the reporting process. Our product IRIS CARBON® will ensure that your XBRL/iXBRL compliance reporting is smooth and error-free.

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