The ESEF iXBRL mandate is commencing on 1st January 2020. The mandate states that all public listed companies must prepare their Annual Financial Reports (ARFs) for financial years that start on or after January 1, 2020, in Inline XBRL (iXBRL) format. iXBRL Filing

Now is the time to begin planning your iXBRL compliance strategy.  Here are some steps to consider:

How will your iXBRL AFR be created?

Creating an AFR in iXBRL format is more difficult than creating an AFR in PDF format.  Typically, companies are presented with two methods of creating their iXBRL AFR: by keeping the process wholly in-house or by outsourcing it to a service provider.  If in-house, you’ll need to research and decide on a software solution, and staff will need to be trained on how to use it.  If outsourced, you’ll need to research and select a service provider, and become familiar with their process.

However, there is a third method that incorporates elements of in-house and outsourcing both. With IRIS CARBON®, companies always have the flexibility to decide how much of the iXBRL creation they want to do in-house, and how much they want to have done by a service provider.  This offers the company’s compliance team complete flexibility to define a process to meet their specific needs.

Test run using your AFR

Do a test run of iXBRL using your latest published AFR. If considering an in-house strategy, do the test run in the software you’re considering.  If considering an outsourcing strategy, ask the service provider to do a test run for you.  (We offer a free, comprehensive test run using your last AFR.)

Finalize strategy and prepare to file your first iXBRL AFR

After running a trial run with your latest AFR you’ll have a good idea of how long the process will take.  You’ll also be able to re-evaluate your initial choice of in-house vs. outsourced, and your choice of software solution or service provider.  We recommend that you make a final decision about the method by which you’ll create your iXBRL document no later than seven months before the ESEF filing deadline so that you’ll be ready to proceed with iXBRL as soon as your AFR is finalized.

The iXBRL mandate is fast approaching.  Whether your company will create your iXBRL AFR in-house or by outsourcing it to a service provider – or through a flexible combination of the two – now is the time to begin making that choice.

IRIS is the most trusted name in XBRL implementation and reporting, and since 2005 has provided solutions for more than 26 regulators and 1.5 million filers across the globe.  With our IRIS CARBON® software platform and our expert service, we can provide a flexible, custom iXBRL solution that is pocket friendly and just right for your company.  To learn more, and for free conversion of your most recent AFR to iXBRL format, send us an email at

For other articles on this subject, you may read

3 important tips to get started with ESEF reporting

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