How Easy Is the Move from ESEF to UKSEF

Project leaders from finance teams of UK PLCs implementing the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) are also considering a related taxonomy released by the FRC – UK single electronic format (UKSEF). The main points of consideration revolve around which of the two taxonomies they should use for the 2021 Annual Report submission and the level of effort to implement UKSEF.


What is UKSEF?

The UKSEF taxonomy is an extension of ESEF submission for the FCA. This extension is done to align with Companies House filing requirement that covers:

  • Disclosures surrounding the new Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) requirement
  • The company’s registered number and the period end date

Should I adopt UKSEF?

Although still voluntary, stakeholders will have visibility to new digital information through ESEF. It seems logical to extend it to cover the SECR disclosures to help digitally automated analysis. Similarly, it is also prudent to file complete information in the annual report at Companies House.

How easy is it to adopt UKSEF?

Implementation of ESEF came with a host of challenges relating to process, solution styles, timelines, approvals, review controls, and validation. These are interrelated and are best planned by teams well in advance.

In comparison, the adoption and implementation of UKSEF is relatively straightforward, given that everything required by ESEF is included within the UKSEF taxonomy, making it a viable option for UK public listed companies.

  • All of the ESEF rules are also included in UKSEF, enabling information to be tagged in the same way as financial statements.
  • A UK company’s registered number and period end date makes it easier for an annual report to pass through the digital gateway at Companies House.
  • In the EU, auditors are required to check and provide their opinion on the ESEF file. In the UK, however, the UK Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has said that it is not required for the ESEF file to be audited – that the auditors and directors had to sign-off only on the ‘content’, not any tags.

However easy it seems, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for anything in reporting. The best process for you will depend on your company processes, goals, audit requirements, and more. We, Datatracks, have spent over ten years trialing and fine-tuning our approach and have a range of options that meet your needs – for more information on UKSEF/ESEF or to find a solution for any of your reporting challenges, get in touch with us.

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