Reporting Manual on the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) – Essential Updates

September 8, 2023by Team IRIS CARBON0

ESMA have released the updated ESEF Reporting Manual on September 6th, 2023, in which there are changes in the guidance which the issuers, vendors, stakeholders and auditors have to follow in the upcoming filing of 2023 annual report.

The changes are related to the:

  • Technical Improvements.
  • Change in data registry.
  • Using 2023 IFRS taxonomy as reference for creating extension elements.
  • clarifying ESMA’s position on the application of Calculations 1.1 specification in the context of ESEF; and
  • fixing previously identified errors.

Below is the guidance updated by ESMA which need to be followed by Issuers when preparing their 2023 annual financial reports. Software firms are also expected to develop the software used for the preparation of annual financial reports in Inline XBRL.

Guidance 1.2.2 Use of elements available in the IFRS Taxonomy that were not yet included in the ESEF taxonomy.

  • The issuers/company can extend an element replicating the same properties of the XBRL Tag (Name, Label and XBRL Characteristics) which is available in the 2023 IFRS Taxonomy if the same element is not present in the 2022 ESEF Taxonomy while tagging their financial statements due to postponement of RTS to 2024.
  • This will help in comparing the two IXBRL packages in the next year as the same element will be available in 2023 ESEF taxonomy once it is released. The properties of the current year extended element will be same as the 2023 ESEF taxonomy element, the only change will be in the “prefix” of the element as stated below in the example.


IFRS 2023 element Issuer extension taxonomy element reflecting the IFRS 2023 element
Element name ifrsfull:PropertyPlantAndEquipme ntIncludingRightofuseAssets issuer_prefix:PropertyPlantAndEquipm entIncludingRightofuseAssets
Element label Property, plant and equipment including right-of-use assets Property, plant and equipment including right-of-use assets
Balance attribute debit debit
Period attribute instant instant

Guidance 1.4.1 Anchoring of extension elements to elements in the ESEF taxonomy that are wider in scope or meaning.

  • While performing anchoring to the extension elements it is not required to anchor the extension elements with narrower scope ESEF taxonomy elements in case if we have already anchored with the wider scope elements present in the standard ESEF taxonomy.
  • Issuers should not create extension taxonomy elements duplicating the meaning and scope of any ESEF core taxonomy element because these decreases the comparability between companies and over time.

Guidance 1.9. Block Tagging.

  • It is not required to tag the monster level tag “ifrs-full: DisclosureOfNotesAndOtherExplanatoryInformationExplanatory” to block tag all the notes reported under “Notes to financial statements” in the annual report.
  • Mandatory elements tagging: While performing tagging for mandatory elements the issuers/companies can also use the elements listed under “Annex VI of the ESEF RTS” along with the elements listed in “Annex II of the ESEF RTS tags”. However, use of these elements from Annex VI, does not prevail over the use of the mandatory elements listed in Annex II. We have to use the element present in Annex II even though if there is an element present in Annex VI which has the closer accounting meaning than the element present in Annex II.

Guidance 2.2.5 Tagging of dashes or empty fields.

ESMA recommends to tag “- “reported in the financial statements as zero using transformation function defined by the Transformation Registry. However, there is a change in tagging the empty fields reported in the financial statements. As the transformation registry does not offer functions for transforming an empty field to a nil value, issuers are recommended to explicitly specify such nil values without any transformation, if such tagging scenario is relevant in their annual reports.

Guidance 2.2.6 Readability of the information extracted from of a block tag.

The readability of the information extracted by block tagging of notes should be legible and clear and the issuers have to ensure the below points on the information extracted/rendered on the tag in machine readable report.

  • The numbers and words should be in the same order as in the annual report.
  • Where there is space between the numbers and words reported in the annual report. Then at least some space should be retained in the block tagging of notes.
  • The information reported in tables in the human readable report has to be meaningfully transcribed in the extracted tagged information in Machine readable report.

Apart from the above-mentioned guidance we also have some validation rule changes or specification changes in the below mentioned Guidance’s for software vendors to ensure technical validity as per the updated ESEF Reporting Manual.

Guidance number / section Guidance Details Latest Updated
Guidance 2.2.7 Technical construction of a block tag. Aug, 2023
Guidance 2.5.1 Inclusion of content other than XHTML and XBRL in the Inline XBRL document. Aug, 2023
Guidance 2.6.1 Including Inline XBRL document in taxonomy packages. Aug, 2023
Guidance 2.6.2 Including multi-html Inline XBRL documents and multiple Inline XBRL document sets in taxonomy packages. Aug, 2023
Guidance 3.1.3 Taxonomy packages. Aug, 2023
Guidance 3.2.2 Data types to be used on extension concepts. Aug, 2023
Guidance 3.3.1 Relationships to anchor extension taxonomy elements to elements in the ESEF taxonomy. Aug, 2023
Guidance 3.4.1 Modelling of the issuers’ extension taxonomies’ linkbases. Aug, 2023
Guidance 3.4.2 Defining the dimensional validity of line items in the definition linkbase. Aug, 2023
Guidance 3.4.3 Definition of default members of extension taxonomy dimensions. Aug, 2023
Guidance 4.1.1 Reporting of stand-alone of xHTML files. Aug, 2023
Guidance 4.1.3 Inclusion of content other than XHTML in a standalone XHTML file. Aug, 2023
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