ESEF reporting - what's it all about?

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the European Single Electronic Format also known as ESEF.

ESEF is the electronic reporting format in which issuers on EU regulated markets shall prepare their annual financial reports from 1 January 2020.
This is all a part of the European Transparency Directive, which is a requirement for listed companies under EU rules.
The purpose of the Transparency Directive is to ensure transparency for the investors.

ESMA has published a great Practical Guide to National rules on notifications of major holdings under the Transparency Directive. Please find it on this link.

iXBRL reporting done by ParsePort

ParsePort of course report in XBRL and  iXBRL to the Danish authorities, who publish it on their website. You can have a look in this link, and then go to the Financial Statements area. There you can see how an XBRL file looks like – and how our Annual report in pdf looks like. Those two files merged in our XBRL engine results in the iXBRL file. Thats how simple it is to create an iXBRL file.
  • Contrary to what many believe, an ESEF report is not one file. An ESEF report contains both the main .xhtml report inside a “reports” folder, but also a taxonomy package that includes technical information on e.g. mathematical relationships, extensions etc. – and the ESEF report comes in form of a .zip file. The report should always be distributed as a .zip package and does not need to be unzipped. This is the file that should be submitted to your local Officially Appointed Mechanism (OAM) and hosted on your homepage as a download link.
  • Accompanying the .zip file is a .html version of your report that – just like the .xhtml report – will open in a  web browser like Chrome, Edge or Firefox (Internet Explorer is not recommended). The .html file is added as an extra service from us and includes a “viewer” which will open on the right side of your browser window and allow you to press “Display options”, “Highlight” and use the left/right buttons to scroll through XBRL tags in the file. This file is not mandatory and should not be submitted, but can be hosted on your homepage as an extra service for readers that do not have advanced software tools to consume ESEF reports but just want to review the mapping lightly.
  • When opening the .xhtml or .html file in a web browser, rendering the entire report can take some time as annual reports are often hundreds of pages. Please have patience – for the .html file, it can take several minutes for the viewer to show up depending on computer performance.

ESEF XBRL
Reporting Requirements

All Annual Financial Reports (AFRs) shall be prepared in the format xHTML, which is human readable and can be opened with any standard web browsers

From 2022 notes of financial statements have to be tagged in iXBRL as well.

The consolidated financial statements needs to be embedded in the xHTML file, in the format iXBRL

The financial information is structured by following rules and orders from a dictionary better known as a taxonomy

When producing an xHTML file for submission, the primary financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows and statement of changes in equity) shall be marked up in against the dictionary (taxonomy)

The detailed provisions of the ESEF are contained in the RTS on ESEF included in the Final Report on the RTS on ESEF