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Classified in: Science and technology, Business
Subjects: PDT, JVN, SBS

ESEF: More Than a Mere Obligation, a Chance to Get Financial Reporting Right

PARIS, July 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- UBPartner (www.ubpartner.com), a leading XBRL software developer, and Ginini Antipode (www.ginini-antipode.com), an expert in accounting and financial reporting systems, announced today that they have partnered to provide a range of services and software that helps listed companies report under the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) framework.

ESEF reporting, which starts for real in January 2021, requires that all European listed companies publish their annual report in Inline XBRL ('iXBRL'). iXBRL provides both human and machine-readable views in a single format. The reports will be able to be read as an xHTML document via a browser, while the XBRL 'tags' enable computer systems to extract and analyse the financial data. The new format, therefore, opens the possibility for investors to review and analyse the reported data in more detail and in more ways.

To help avoid any reputational damage that may arise from inaccurate and non-compliant reports, listed companies and their agents will be able to call upon the combined knowledge of Ginini Antipode and UBPartner to assist them to ensure that their annual report is 100% compliant with the required standards. Using flexible and simple software, the firms will be guided through the iXBRL reporting process to ensure that the ESEF reports that they generate are accurate and consistent. This approach is also an opportunity to think differently on the current structure of the financial statements and to benchmark with other preparers.

Ginini Antipode helping companies modernise the way they report financial information

"Ginini Antipode is well versed in IFRS and consolidation systems but we're new to XBRL. When we first started talking to companies, we found many that still thought the report was simply a document, like the PDF they deliver today. They viewed the ESEF process as a simple, compliance exercise," commented Lise Chorques an IFRS specialist at Ginini Antipode. "ESEF is much more than a mere obligation; it is an opportunity to adopt a more dynamic approach to the presentation of your financials and move closer to the way information will be consumed by future users of financial reports."

"Having now mapped and tagged many sample ESEF reports, we can see that each company's presentation of its IFRS statements is different in small, but important ways. These need to be modelled correctly to ensure that the financial data can be understood and automatically validated. ESEF, therefore, needs a more strategic approach and companies should look to build quality into the process from the beginning, else they may experience potential reputational risk from reporting errors."

Simple, yet flexible ESEF reporting software

"When ESEF was announced, we looked at the experiences in similar reporting frameworks, such as the US SEC and UK HMRC. ESMA which sets the technical standards for ESEF has learned from these earlier projects. It has included new ideas in its approach that will ensure that ESEF is more likely to deliver the data quality and consistency that investors want. However, we also noticed that many of the reporting systems adopted a 'document first' approach, and we believe this increases the risk of not delivering on the data quality that regulators, listed companies and investors would want to see," stated Martin DeVille, UBPartner.

"We believe that companies need to build their reports on a solid foundation that can be used to validate the data at each step of the process. So, we start with the report model, i.e. what does the company want to report and how are they related to each other. This enables the finance department to start the ESEF process as early as it wants and to continue to improve it throughout the year. When the final statements are ready, the XBRL report model is ready and tested. The 'document first' approach leaves everything to the last moment when the financial accounts are closed, and the annual report document has been prepared. This means that listed companies have little or no time to verify the model and hence, automatically validate the financial data, so errors creep in and these tend to persist year after year."

For further information on the UBPartner XT ESEF software, contact info@ubpartner.com.

About ESEF (European Single Electronic Format)

ESEF is the electronic reporting format in which issuers on EU regulated markets shall prepare their annual financial reports with start dates after Jan. 1, 2020. The objectives of the provision are to make reporting easier for issuers and to facilitate accessibility, analysis, and comparability of annual financial reports. ESMA is responsible for specifying the European wide regulatory technical standards (RTS) and National Competent Authorities are expected to collect these in EU countries.

For further information, visit www.ubpartner.com/eurofiling/#fndtn-esma

About Ginini Antipode

With a broad spectrum of financial and accounting expertise, Ginini Antipode assists finance departments in their day-to-day operations and major transformation projects. Their operational oriented approach is adapted to the specific company context and challenges. The company has 200 consultants, located in five countries (France, Italy, Switzerland, China, and Turkey).

For further information, visit www.ginini-antipode.com 

Contact information:

Martin DeVille, VP Business Development: mdeville@ubpartner.com  

Lise Chorques, Senior Manager Ginini Antipode: lise.chorques@ginini-antipode.com

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News published on 1 july 2020 at 01:00 and distributed by: