Thursday, July 4, 2019

EU drags corporate reporting into the 21st century

New rules support the digitalisation of corporate reporting and greater transparency

The European Commission (EC) has proposed new rules to support the digitalisation of corporate reporting and to achieve greater transparency of the annual information disclosed by companies listed on EU capital markets. The new rules come in the form of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/815, which supplements Directive 2004/108/EC on regulatory technical standards on the specification of a European Single Electronic Format (ESEF).

The aim of the ESEF is to make companies' financial records easier to read and more accessible.

If approved, from January 2020 all listed companies will be required to finalise their annual financial statements and reports using XHTML and iXBRL, which will not only help to standardise financial information but also facilitate the provision of such information in multiple languages. To support this initiative, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has produced an ESEF Reporting Manual and ESEF taxonomy files.

It is planned to update the rules annually to reflect any updates to the IFRS taxonomy.

The Commission has published a useful set of FAQs on the ESEF which can be viewed here.

Contact your local Baker Tilly network member for further guidance.

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