ESEF: Listed companies' obligations in relation to their 2021 and 2022 annual reports

Issuers of securities listed on regulated markets in the European Union are still legally obliged to publish their annual reports for 2021 in the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF).

The scope of the XBRL markup is the same for the 2021 consolidated financial statements as for 2020. That is to say, for this year too, the ESEF-compliant disclosure consists of tagging the consolidated financial statements and the required general information and then exporting the annual report in XHTML (extensible HyperText Markup Language) format.

We are also currently receiving questions about the reporting of half-yearly financial reports. According to the CNB's methodology, half-yearly financial reports are not required to be reported in the ESEF format and are to be sent as before, i.e. in PDF format.

However, changes are expected to come into force in the next financial year, when for the financial year starting from 1 January 2022 and thereafter, the tagging obligation will be extended to other parts of the consolidated financial statements. According to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/815, the basic taxonomy will be extended by 244 mandatory elements referring mainly to International Accounting Standard IAS 1. This not only implies a greater time requirement for the preparation of annual reports in accordance with ESEF and related audit requirements, but this extension also places greater demands on a knowledge of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

We strongly recommend that issuers prepare for these changes well in advance.