Colruyt Group Cracks The ESEF Code With IRIS CARBON®

A case study on how Colruyt Group, a leading Belgian retail company, found in IRIS CARBON® the perfect solution to its ESEF reporting challenges.

Customer Profile

Customer Profile


Colruyt Group is one of the leading retail groups in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. What started as a family-run business in 1928 now spans three generations and has scaled up to deliver a diverse range of food and non-food products across its markets, spurred on by the efforts of its nearly 33,000 strong employees. Colruyt’s mission statement says the group is committed to creating sustainable added value through value-driven craftsmanship in their retail operations

Business Challenges

Business Challenges

When the ESEF mandate was announced for listed companies across the EU in 2019, Colruyt Group’s consolidated team was faced with the prospect of soon being required to file annual reports in a format they were unfamiliar with – Inline XBRL. Since ESEF was an annual requirement, the group did not want to invest more time and resources than were necessary for the compliance process. They began looking for a trusted software provider who could deliver an exceptional filing experience.

Colruyt Group is known in Belgium for the “best prices and best quality in retail” and the company was influenced by the same factors in its search for an ESEF filing solution. The group narrowed down the following priorities for ESEF compliance

Colruyt Business Challenge

Business Objectives

Business Objectives

Based on the priorities identified, IRIS CARBON® worked with Colruyt’s consolidation team to formulate the right objectives for their ESEF filing project. These objectives helped teams stay on course toward a successful ESEF filing.

The objectives agreed upon were

  • Setting Up The iXBRL Project
    The first and foremost objective of the project was to create a reference iXBRL document for the Colruyt Group. IRIS CARBON® experts converted the company’s 2018-19 annual report into the iXBRL format and then collaborated with Colruyt to ensure teams on both sides were on the same page. The Colruyt team had user accounts created on the platform so they could review the tagging done by IRIS CARBON®. Setting up this project helped get ESEF compliance on track at Colruyt and speed things up
  • High-Quality Error-free Filings
    The next step was to ensure an ESEF filing with zero errors. IRIS CARBON® worked with the client team to understand their reporting structure and educate them about ESEF. This involved understanding Colruyt’s business and going through their financial statements and notes to make sure that the most appropriate XBRL tags were selected and extension elements were created wherever necessary. Anchoring relationships were also established per ESEF guidelines.
  • Training The Client Team
    Designing and delivering a customized training program for team Colruyt was another critical aspect of the project. The training had to equip the client team with the right knowledge and skills to manage future filings effectively and without errors. Our training sessions ensured that the Colruyt team was able to efficiently review the tagging in accordance with ESEF requirements and was satisfied with the learnings
  • Preparing A Filing Calendar
    The final objective was the preparation of a filing calendar that factored in the timelines of all stakeholders. This step was critical to ensure that each of the stakeholders understood their timelines and adhered to them for a smoother compliance process.

The IRIS CARBON® Approach

The IRIS CARBON® Approach

As the first step in Colruyt’s ESEF compliance journey, team IRIS CARBON® converted the company’s 2018-19 AFR into the iXBRL format.

The exercise had a benefit to it. Team Colruyt could examine first-hand the ESEF taxonomy tags that apply to their disclosures and the appearance of an iXBRL annual report. During a highly successful two-day workshop, IRIS CARBON® handheld team Colruyt through a review of their iXBRL. It was only a matter of time before team Colruyt used the same XBRL tags to prepare their 2019-20 iXBRL annual report.

It is to the credit of team Colruyt that they opted to comply with Phase 1 and Phase 2 of ESEF right from the first year of their compliance (2019-20 annual report). In Phase 1, companies need to use XBRL tags to markup their primary financial statements. In Phase 2, they also need to block-tag the notes to accounts.

Since team Colruyt trained on preparing the 2018-19 annual report, they had a smooth process with the 2019-20 annual report, However, the company did not test-file their 2020 ESEF iXBRL filing with the regulator, deciding instead to benefit from the mandate’s postponement by one year. They were preparing for the mandatory 2021 ESEF filing that was to happen in 2022. They ensured that they were fully ready for the first live filing.

All efforts paid off when team Colruyt successfully complied with the ESEF mandate, filing their 2021 annual report with the Belgian regulator in August 2022.

Team Colruyt was highly impressed by IRIS CARBON®’s dedication to their ESEF compliance and 24*7 support during the filing period.

“We selected IRIS CARBON® for our ESEF iXBRL conversion, since IRIS is a global firm with deep experience in XBRL/iXBRL, great quality of filings, service delivery, and importantly, offers their service and solution at a very attractive price.

We started our iXBRL process in August 2019, and IRIS converted our 2018-19 Annual Financial Report into iXBRL within just 10 working days. A 2-day workshop conducted by them for our team was extremely helpful, and it was very nice to have our own tagged annual report as training material. This exercise also helped us in finalizing the XBRL tags this year, and we are fully ready for the upcoming 2020 ESEF mandate.

We are very happy with the turn time and quality of the iXBRL output created by IRIS CARBON®”.

Carine Gilissen
Head of Department, Group Financial Reporting

Key Results Achieved

Key Results Achieved

For Colruyt, the prospect of complying with a new mandate using a format they had no prior experience with was a challenge. But they were proactive about addressing the challenge by identifying a software platform that was to simplify the compliance process.

The client-first approach of team IRIS CARBON® – driven by customized training and unlimited support – and the platform’s state-of-the-art functionalities helped Colruyt to focus its energies on creating an annual report perfectly compliant with the ESEF mandate in all its aspects.

Colruyt Key Result

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