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Technical Background

Which file format is mandatory for annual financial reports in the ESEF reporting format?

The XHTML format is mandatory for annual financial reports. This format is human-readable and can be opened with all standard Web browsers. IFRS consolidated financial statements must also be included in the format using XBRL tags, via inline XBRL (iXBRL). This renders ESEF reports readable by both humans and machines.

Why XBRL or iXBRL?

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, a common format for the transmission of financial data. Inline XBRL (iXBRL) is a further development of XBRL. iXBRL technology allows HTML and XBRL consolidation. This renders the generated document readable by both humans and machines. Additional information is assigned to specific items by using XBRL tags to label these items.

What is ESEF taxonomy?

The ESEF taxonomy was developed by ESMA and is available for perusal on the ESMA website. A taxonomy provides the hierarchical structure used to classify financial information, a prerequisite to structured electronic reporting via XBRL. The ESEF taxonomy is an extension of IFRS taxonomy and is conformant with the EU-wide Digital Technical Regulation Standard (RTS).

How does tagging on ESEF taxonomy work?

ESEF taxonomy is specified for labelling IFRS consolidated financial statements using XBRL tags. Report writers must assign the items under each component of the report to its corresponding or closest taxonomy element. In the ESEF-Manager, this assignment is made by clicking or marking the item and then assigning the corresponding taxonomy element.

Can I create extension elements in the ESEF taxonomy?

ESMA determines that existing ESEF taxonomy elements that would misrepresent the meaning of an item in terms of accounting should be extended by creating so-called extension taxonomy elements and that such extensions must be anchored to that core taxonomy element that most closely matches the meaning of the item.

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