EU Directive establishing the need for implementation of an electronic format for reporting listed companies, such as XBRL.
EU Member States have accepted the amendments to the Directive on the Harmonisation of Transparency for listed securities. Above all, these amendments require “A harmonised electronic format for reporting“. Additionally the amendments includes the following specification:
“An electronic reporting format, with due reference to current and future technological options, such as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).”
Given the results obtained through a cost-benefit analysis undertaken by ESMA, the preparation of annual financial reports in a single electronic reporting format should be mandatory with effect from 1 January 2020. That means that ESMA should develop draft regulatory standards for adoption by the Commission. In this draft ESMA will point out all the possible electronic reporting formats which can be chosen. Therefore, it will include references to current and future technological options, such as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) and inline XBRL (iXBRL).
Source: Council of the European Union.
Update 21/12/2016: At the end, ESMA has chosen as the harmonised format for reporting the iXBRL. As Steven Maijoor, ESMA Chair has said:
“We believe that the vast pool of free, structured financial information that will emerge once electronic reporting starts will trigger technological innovation. The Inline XBRL format has the potential to bring financial reporting into the digital age.”