ESEF Warnings and Errors – A thin but important line of Difference
Over 100 issuers across six jurisdictions submitted their annual report in compliance with the ESEF iXBRL mandate in the successful first half of 2021. First-hand experience from the first round of submissions, taught many lessons especially with regards to ESEF validation and submission rules. (You can read a detailed article here .)
An integral learning from the submissions was that the ESEF taxonomy contains a lot of validations that can be classified as ‘Warnings’ or ‘Errors’. As The distinction between these two types of validation is significant; however, preparers tend to group them under the same ambit.
- When the validation that is run throws up a ‘Warning’, it should be interpreted as an intimation to have another look and ensure that the information there is what was intended to be reported. A valid report can have multiple warnings, and these can be ignored if the information is correct.
- However, an ‘Error’ is more serious and needs to be addressed immediately. If left unattended, errors will lead to an invalid ESEF filing and the Officially Appointed Mechanism will not accept the submission.
To extrapolate the difference, we can consider the warnings that come up when using the ‘mandatory’ text tags. Contrary to the use of the word ‘mandatory’, information in this section is required to be tagged only if said information is part of the report. If the information is not present in the annual report, a validation warning will be generated, which can then be ignored. For an entire list of warnings and suggestions on how each validation notification has to be treated, refer to this document released by XBRL Europe.
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