BULGARIA: FSC postpones European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) reporting by one year

21 December 2020 — Cosmin CONCEATU
In 2013, the European Directive 2013/50/EC pushed all annual financial statements of issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on regulated markets in the EU to be drawn up in a single electronic reporting format (ESEF), starting from 1 January 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Financial Supervision Commission of Bulgaria (FSC) decided to postpone for one more year the implementation, allowing the companies to focus on the management of the pandemic crisis.

In this context, the European Commission's Delegated Regulation 2019/815 (European Single Electronic Format - ESEF) was drawn up, the format of the annual financial statements added more specific rules for the marking of the financial statements, namely:
  • issuers to prepare and publish their annual financial statements in XHTML format;
  • issuers that prepare their consolidated financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) should mark those consolidated financial statements using iXBRL tags (the combination of XHTML format and iXBRL tags allows annual financial statements to be read by both humans and machines, which improves the accessibility, analysis and comparability of the information included in the annual financial statements).

Given the difficult circumstances facing companies due to the Covid pandemic, a capital market recovery package was adopted at the suggestion of several EU member states, including Bulgaria, and it was decided to postpone the implementation of the ESEF by one year. This will allow issuers to focus their resources on recovery from the current crisis and have enough time to prepare for the implementation of the new format.

"It should be borne in mind that auditors will have to express an opinion on whether the annual financial statements are in line with the ESEF, and in this sense the postponement will also allow auditors to become more familiar with the new requirements," FSC mentions.

"The deferral is provided in the form of an option for Member States, as in some countries all issuers are ready to apply the new format for financial statements for 2020. Bulgaria will take the opportunity and allow issuers to start applying the requirement for financial statements for 2021 and will notify the European Commission accordingly," FSC further commented.

The Financial Supervision Commission stated that it's ready to test a system for accepting annual financial statements in the European single electronic format and in this regard all Bulgarian issuers who have the opportunity could test their reports generated under the ESEF.

In addition, the European Commission published on 10 November 2020 a communication on the preparation, the audit and the publication of the financial statements included in the annual financial statements, prepared in accordance with Commission's delegated regulation.

Source: fsc.bg

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