What Is ESEF Reporting?

In 2013 the Transparency Directive was amended to include the requirement that issuers prepare their annual financial reports in one electronic reporting format. ESMA (The European Securities and Markets Authority) was tasked with developing the regulatory technical standards (RTS) specifying the format. What they came up with was ESEF, or the European Single Electronic Format.

Beginning with the financial year of 2020, all publicly listed companies under EU rules are required to prepare their annual financial reports in ESEF.

How We Handle iXBRL Reporting

An iXBRL file consists of two layers  a visual and a technical layer, which are then combined into a single file. At ParsePort we can do this with a wide range of different file types, although the most common is an Excel file containing the financial statement of your annual report combined with a PDF containing the glossy version of the same annual report.

At ParsePort we ourselves report in XBRL and iXBRL to the Danish authorities, who then publish it in a publicly available database. This means, that you can find the information here. All you need to do is scroll down to the menu item titled Financial Statements. Once there, you can use our annual financial statements from the past years to get an idea of how an annual report looks in both PDF, XBRL and iXBRL.

When we created our own iXBRL report we used the XBRL version of our financial report along with the glossy PDF version.

What Is an ESEF Report?

Contrary to what many people believe, an ESEF report is not one single file. An annual financial report in ESEF should contain the .xhtml report along with a “taxonomy package” containing technical information on the mathematical relationships and extensions. This is why an ESEF report is delivered in a .zip file.

Your ESEF report should always be distributed as a .zip package rather, as this does not need to be unzipped. This is also how you should submit the file to your OAM (Officially Appointed Mechanism), and how you should host it on your homepage.

When you receive an ESEF package from us, we also include a .html version of your report. The reason we include this file, is that we include an ESEF viewer within that file, so you can view your tagged iXBRL file in your prefered web browser. When you open the .html file a window in the right side of your browser will allow you to alter the Display Options, so you can highlight entries and then use the left/right arrows on your keyboard to scroll through the XBRL tags embedded in the file.

This file is something we provide so you can see what the final result looks like in an easy way. It is not a part of your ESEF compliance and should not be submitted to your OAM, but it is ideal for hosting on your website, so your visitors can access it without advanced software able to consume ESEF reports.

Do note, that loading the .xhtml and .html files in your browser may take several minutes depending on the performance of your computer as the files are rather large.

ESEF Reporting Requirements

The detailed provisions of the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) are contained within the Reporting Technical Standards (RTS) on ESEF which are included in the Final Report on the RTS on ESEF.

All annual financial reports (AFRs) must be prepared in XHTML, be human readable and capable of being opened with any standard web browser.

AFRs containing consolidated statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) must be labelled with XBRL tags, which make the disclosures in question machine-readable.

The consolidated financial statements need to contain XBRL tags embedded within the XHTML file in the iXBRL format in order to combine the benefits of XBRL tagged data with the visual presentation of AFRs.

Financial information must be structured by following a set of rules and orders specified in the ESEF taxonomy. The taxonomy used for ESEF is an extension of the IFRS taxonomy.

Preparers of the files need to mark-up disclosures using the taxonomy element with the accounting meaning closest to the marked up disclosure. If the closest taxonomy element misrepresents the meaning, the issuer needs to create a taxonomy element titled an "extension" and anchor the extension to the core taxonomy element.

When producing an XHTML file for submission, issuers must mark up in detail the primary financial statements, such as income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows and statement of changes in equity.