Map It Like It’s Hot (A Handbook on ESEF Mapping)

Do you need to map your next financial report according to the ESEF requirements? Then this article will teach you everything you need to know.

Ensuring correct mapping is without a doubt one of the hardest parts of ESEF reporting but fear not. In this article we’ll provide you with a short explanation on the importance of proper ESEF mapping, as well as a handy guide on what you need to consider, when you carry out mapping of individual elements either alone or in collaboration with your ESEF provider.

The Importance of Proper ESEF Mapping

Proper mapping will not only make sure your financial report is validated and approved by regulators when you submit your figures. It will also increase the quality of the information held within. So, while the obvious reason as to why proper ESEF mapping is important has to do with compliance, the biggest reason why you need proper mapping is your investors and key stakeholders.

With unstructured formats such as PDF, it can be extremely difficult to analyze and compare financial information across multiple reports, but ESEF has introduced a structured format for financial reports which gives you the ability to map individual disclosures in your AFR according to the ESEF taxonomy.

As such, properly mapping your financial reports to the ESEF taxonomy, will make it a lot easier for potential investors to understand your disclosed figures.

What Do We Need to Map?

Finding out what needs to be tagged and what doesn’t, may be a little confusing at first. So, to help you, we’ve made this handy flow chart so you can easily figure out if and how you need to tag a specific element in your financial report.

"What you need to map and how"

This flow chart was created on 30/08/2021. Changes to the ESEF requirements made after this date may have affected its accuracy.

Selecting the Correct Taxonomy Element

Selecting the correct taxonomy element when carrying out the mapping can mean the difference between a positive and negative validation of your annual report but selecting the wrong taxonomy element will also mean that consumers using advanced XBRL consumption software to analyze your report will receive faulty information.

Because of this, choosing an ESEF provider that will help you carry out the mapping, will not only drastically decrease the amount of time (and money) you need to spend mapping your report, but it may also affect the quality of the report.

What If the Element I Need Doesn’t Exist in the ESEF Taxonomy?

Most elements needed to carry out your financial reporting already exist in the base ESEF taxonomy, and if an element exists in the base taxonomy you need to use that. But sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you need to report an element which isn’t covered. If this happens, you need to create an extension element in your financial statements.

If you do this, however, you need make sure, that you are creating an actual extension of the taxonomy, and not just renaming an element already in existence.

Example: If you have a post in your Statement of Changes in Equity titled “Balance as of 1 January 2021” which discloses your equity, you need to select a corresponding taxonomy element titled “Equity”. You shouldn’t create an extension element titled “Balance as of 1 January 2021” to make it more closely match the text in your PDF.

How Do I Anchor an Extension Correctly?

According to the ESEF requirements, extension elements need to be anchored to an element within the base ESEF taxonomy which is either wider or narrower in meaning or scope. This will help regulators and analysts interpret and compare financial information between financial reports when extensions are used.

While most extensions require an anchor to the base taxonomy, that isn’t always the case. For instance, extension elements used to mark up the IFRS consolidated financial statements must be anchored to the base taxonomy, but if detailed tag extension elements are used to mark up the notes section, there is no obligation to anchor these. Further, there is no requirement to anchoring an extension taxonomy concept which corresponds to a subtotal of another disclosure in the same statement.

This may sound a little confusing at first, so we’ve made this handy flowchart to help you determine if you need to anchor an extension or not.

Should We Anchor This Extension?

This flow chart was created on 30/08/2021. Changes to the ESEF requirements made after this date may have affected its accuracy.

Kim Eriksen

Kim Eriksen

Kim Eriksen is the co-founder and CEO of ParsePort

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