Belgian Post Group Gets ESEF Right The First Time With IRIS CARBON®

A case study showcasing how IRIS CARBON® helped Belgian Post get their ESEF iXBRL reporting right the first time itself.

Customer Profile


Belgian Post Group, widely known as bpost, is a Brussels-headquartered company handling the delivery of national and international mail. The company offers a wide range of postal, courier, banking, insurance, and electronic services across Europe. It has a presence in over 10 countries and caters to over 200 countries.

bpost, which was previously known as De Post-La Poste, is one of the largest civilian employers in Belgium with over 36,000 employees.

Business Challenges

The European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) mandate, which kicked in in January 2020, requires EU-listed companies to submit annual reports in the xHTML format instead of PDFs. Companies preparing consolidated financial statements need to have XBRL or machine-readable tags embedded in their xHTML reports. The resultant Inline XBRL document would be human-readable and machine-readable at the same time. Inline XBRL or iXBRL improves the transparency of financial reports and makes analysis and peer-to-peer comparisons – across sectors and industries – easier.

bpost’s Consolidation and Reporting team decided on a proactive approach for ESEF compliance, deciding to convert the company’s 2019 annual report in the iXBRL format. In keeping with that approach, bpost needed an intuitive and

user-friendly ESEF solution and an experienced team of XBRL experts to guide their team through the contours of the new mandate. The main concern was the learning curve for team bpost to get hands-on with the chosen tool.

When IRIS CARBON® entered the picture, the top challenges to be addressed were


Project Objectives

With the above challenges outlined, IRIS CARBON® and bpost began identifying the right objectives for the ESEF compliance project. The objectives served as signposts to help both teams stay on course to achieve the desired outcomes.

Below are the objectives agreed upon

Creating An Error-free 2019 iXBRL Annual Report

Since ESEF was a new format for bpost, their consolidation and reporting team wanted to outsource the 2019 iXBRL report creation. It was decided that while team IRIS CARBON® would work on the iXBRL creation, the reviewing part would be done by bpost.

Training & Preparing bpost For The 2020 Test Filing

While working on bpost’s 2019 iXBRL report, IRIS CARBON® was to lay down the procedures to be adopted by bpost in 2020 and the subsequent years. Team IRIS CARBON® was to design a customized training program to familiarize bpost with the ESEF compliance module of the IRIS CARBON® platform.

Additional Training For Getting More Out Of ESEF

In order to help the bpost team get the most out of the ESEF mandate and XBRL itself, IRIS CARBON® conducted additional training sessions. These sessions were focused on preparing the bpost team to be future-ready and equipping them with the right knowledge of the IRIS CARBON® environment for better results.

The IRIS CARBON® Approach

IRIS CARBON® handled bpost’s ESEF reporting in three phases that were closely aligned with the objectives agreed upon.

In Phase I, the focus was on converting bpost’s 2019 annual report into iXBRL. IRIS CARBON® experts delivered an error-free conversion in one day, and thereafter, the bpost team reviewed and created ESEF reports in English, French, and Dutch.

Phase II of the project focused on preparing the bpost team for future filings. IRIS CARBON® conducted a customized, 4-day training program covering all necessary aspects of high-quality ESEF reporting – which included XBRL tagging, forming extension elements, anchoring extension elements, preparing a company taxonomy, and avoiding common ESEF errors.

Phase III of the project was designed to create customized and standardized workflows for the bpost finance team. Training sessions in this phase were meant to help the preparers, reviewers, and auditors of ESEF reports to collaborate in an effective manner.

“We chose IRIS CARBON since we wanted an outsourcing option for publishing iXBRL in English, French, and Dutch.

The platform is very intuitive and there are reports to help our review and auditor review as well. The overall training was excellent too – the trainer’s technical knowledge was very impressive and we completed the bpost 2019 iXBRL review in 1 working day.

I would be happy to recommend IRIS CARBON for ESEF compliance”

Sylvie Pothoven
Consolidation & Reporting Manager

Key Results Achieved

Team bpost was able to achieve all its objectives by choosing IRIS CARBON® as the preferred iXBRL reporting and compliance partner. Not only did bpost get the 2019 iXBRL preparation process right, but the team even created and voluntarily test-filed an error-free 2020 iXBRL filing. These key results were achieved thanks to the intuitiveness of the IRIS CARBON® platform and highly effective training sessions.

At a glance – The key results achieved by bpost

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