European Single Electronic Format

Uniform electronic format for financial reporting

Since January 1st, 2020, all IFRS consolidated financial statements must be prepared in a uniform electronic format, the so-called ESEF (European Single Electronic Format). This is intended to increase the public comparability of companies. The EU had already laid the groundwork for the introduction of this uniform reporting standard for the annual financial statements of European companies in 2013. In 2017, ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority), the body responsible for auditing and drafting the EU regulation and the associated requirements, published a final draft regulation. This draft regulation of the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) provides a digital format (XHTML) for financial reporting and will become effective in all EU member states immediately after endorsement and publication in the Official Journal of the European Commission.

Latest news about ESEF: What you need to know!

  • On January 23rd 2020, the German government passed a draft of the ESEF implementation law, which takes into account major points of criticism of the draft bill. This means that now accountants will most likely have clarity about the legal framework. The electronic signature is off the table. Nevertheless, ESEF is very much anchored in German law and is subject to mandatory auditing. In addition, the financial statements of the issuing AG must be delivered as XHTML alongside the consolidated financial statements. We have compiled further information on the implementation of the new reporting standard for you in our e-booklet.
  • Many have now begun mapping their position plan to the IFRS taxonomy. In doing so typical questions keep coming up: What do I need extensions for? Which ones need to be anchored? For which positions does the own consolidation chart of accounts have to be extended? If you have similar or very specific questions, we would be happy to share our experience with you:
  • The suppliers of disclosure management and tagging solutions are now very actively working the market. With workiva, an important new provider in Germany is now joining in. In North America, workiva is already one of the leading vendors and an established player. We would be happy to support you in your orientation in the market and in identifying the suitable provider that meets your requirements and fits optimally into your existing system architecture.
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A guide to European Single Electronic Format

Everything you need to know about ESEF


4C GROUP AG | A Guide to ESEF / European Single Electronic Format
  • FAQs - who is affected, what is to be done, when must one react?
  • Effects of ESEF regulation on processes and systems
  • Overview of the system providers on the market
  • Recommendations and solutions of the 4C GROUP
  • Demonstration tagging and XBRL generation using an exemplary solution

Events on the subject of Group Reporting & Accounting

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An event of the competence network Group Accounting

The competence network has set itself the goal of anticipating best practice approaches to new and well-known challenges in Group Accounting. With our working group, we have also created a platform where the experts in Group Accounting can communicate at a high level and discuss the challenges in their respective companies. The Group Accounting working group has now become firmly established and takes place annually.

Our experts for ESEF

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Markus Noçon

Senior Partner

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Peter Keefer


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