On July 7, Accountancy Europe investigated national experiences and success stories with implementing the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF). We heard from countries already using the new format, and also from countries on their preparations for implementation next year. Assurance concerns have been at the heart of the discussion.
Opening and closing remarks by Hilde Blomme, Deputy CEO, Accountancy Europe
Alicia Salvador Vega, Senior Manager, Deloitte – Spain
Antoine Robert, Partner, Deloitte – France
Ronald van Langen, Senior Manager, KPMG – Netherlands
Holger Obst, Senior Manager, EY – Germany
Thomas Kuester, Partner, PwC – Germany
Moderated by Katherine Schamerhorn, Partner, Grant Thornton Global and Jon Rowden, iXBRL Leader, PwC – UK
Watch everything that happened:
The first session focused on success factors and lessons learnt from the first-year implementation in Germany.
Thomas Kuester, PwC – Germany noted that in Germany, the first year of ESEF implementation went very well for both preparers and auditors. Effective communication among all stakeholders and interested groups helped better understand what ESEF means in practice.
Holger Obst, EY – Germany highlighted the importance of the timing aspect. This is relevant for educating the audit teams, setting up necessary tools, integration of new procedures into existing ones and developing an audit strategy.
Katherine Schamerhorn, Grant Thornton – Global summarized the key take-aways for auditors from the first session as:
• Start preparing in coordination with issuers now
• Establish center of excellence within audit firms
• Work with the standard-setter in developing the assurance standard
In the second session, our experts explained ongoing preparatory work in France, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK.
Jon Rowden, PwC – UK stated that Brexit has not affected the implementation of ESEF in the UK and starting with 2021 annual financial reports, the UKSEF, which is an extended version of the ESEF taxonomy, will be mandatory.
Antoine Robert, Deloitte – France emphasized the importance of ‘mapping’ which is not always a straightforward exercise but is very helpful when done by auditors and issuers in a timely manner.
Ronald van Langen, KPMG – Netherlands strongly recommended doing a ‘dry-run’ which would contribute to achieving two main objectives: identifying technical validation issues and streamlining the processes, including the roles and responsibilities of different parties involved.
Alicia Salvador Vega, Deloitte – Spain underlined the fact that both human resources and technologies should be adapted to be ready for ESEF in issuers as well as audit firms. Accordingly, multi-disciplinary teams with financial and IT expertise from both sides should be working in cooperation.
Hilde Blomme, Deputy CEO, Accountancy Europe closed the webinar by responding to a question on Accountancy Europe plans for future work related to ESEF. She referred to the Accountancy Europe ESEF hub and reiterated that Accountancy Europe is monitoring developments about digital corporate reporting, including sustainability information.