The New Update in the Reporting Manual on European Single Electronic Format by ESMA

To resolve filing issues and make the process more convenient for issuers, ESMA continually updates its reporting manual on the ESEF (European Single Electronic Format). The new update entails an expansion of the existing guidance and reflects relevant developments in the technical specifications. Let’s see what’s new with ESMA and how to choose the right software for error-free filing.

What’s New with the Reporting Manual?

ESMA published the first draft of the manual in December 2017 and later updates in July 2019. Following the feedback from issuers and market participants, ESMA decided to publish an updated version of the manual to expand existing guidance.

Some of the updated guidance from earlier reporting manual, are mentioned below:

  • Use of elements available in the IFRS Taxonomy that were not yet included in the ESEF taxonomy
  • Markup of notes to financial statements
  • Determination of whether a disclosure should be marked up with a line item or a domain member
  • Transformation of facts
  • Appropriate use of XBRL footnotes in the reports
  • Inline XBRL constructs that should be avoided
  • Inclusion of other content than XHTML and XBRL in the Inline XBRL document
  • Use of more than one target XBRL document for an Inline XBRL Document Set (IXDS)
  • Use of the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) language to style Inline XBRL documents
  • Including Inline XBRL document in taxonomy packages
  • Naming convention for report packages
  • Ensuring report validity against XBRL specifications
  • Ensuring taxonomy validity against XBRL specifications
  • Identification of extension taxonomy element
  • Relationships to anchor extension taxonomy elements to elements in the ESEF taxonomy
  • Where to define the anchoring relationship
  • Defining the dimensional validity of line items in the definition linkbase
  • Definition of default members of extension taxonomy dimensions
  • Restrictions on taxonomy relationships
  • References pointing to resources outside the reporting package

The new 2020 update includes:-

  • Guidance on naming conventions for the extension taxonomy files
  • Definition of extended link roles in extension taxonomy

All updates to the ESMA manual are intended to assist issuers and software vendors in creating iXBRL documents compliant with the technical and regulatory standards on ESEF. The new update, additionally, provides guidance and solutions on common issues faced by issuers when creating iXBRL documents. Please read about the latest updated manual on the ESMA website.


Choosing the Right Software

To be compliant with ESMA and its regularly updated guidelines, issuers require robust and user-friendly and accurate software. DataTracks Rainbow™ stands with issuers’ expectations and produces iXBRL reports in compliance with the latest ESMA regulations.

  • Accurate & Error Free

With a software solution from an expert regulatory compliance company like DataTracks, you can access accurate and error-free financial data. The best part about using Rainbow™ is that there is no need to retool to meet the ESMA requirements. The current PDF annual report can be read into the Rainbow™ to produce iXBRL output without any compromise on the layout or rich design of the annual financial report.

  • Ability to Read High-design PDF

Rainbow™ can read high-design PDF reports and convert these reports into XHTML to generate iXBRL format while retaining the same high-design elements of PDF.

  • Consistent Data

With the Autolink feature, issuers can automatically prepare the pre-design annual financial report by integrating Rainbow™ with their ERP systems and various other data sources, including Excel.

  • Easily Handles Multiple Regulations

Rainbow™ is known to handle dual reporting obligations with the SEC in the USA and the ESMA in the EU with a single tagging effort, revolutionizing the reporting system for dual-listed companies.

The robust, user-friendly, and affordable ESEF solution from DataTracks, Rainbow™, is XBRL certified software and enables teams across multiple locations to connect and edit/create content. With prowess in regulatory software solutions, DataTracks can make ESMA reporting easy and affordable. To implement ESEF reporting in your company using iXBRL or to get further clarity on the subject, you can connect with us at, or you can give a call on +31 (0) 20 2253 702.

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