XBRL News about ESEF, OSI model for accounting and crowdfunding

Here is our pick of the 3 most important XBRL news stories from the last week. 

1 ESEF – lessons learned from the first filings

First-time European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) reporting is now well underway, with voluntary or mandatory filings for December 2020 annual reports being made in many countries. Over the next year, activity will only increase, so it seems helpful to share some early perspectives from our network of ESEF experts. Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

While the corona-induced delay provides some respite to many European reporting entities in their initial reporting duty, there’s no harm in learning from those who have been there, done that.

2 Universal digital financial reporting framework

Welcome to a more modern era of accounting, reporting, auditing, and analysis! This will be an era of continuous accounting, continuous reporting, smart regulation, algorithmic regulation, artificial intelligence assisted audits, always on audit, computational professional services.

While I quite like the conceptual thinking incorporated in applying the OSI model with its 7 layers (not levels) to accounting, the characterisations of individual layers needs more thought. Presently it seems to be a fairly unruly mix of the technical, the semantic and the syntactic. The beauty if the OSI model lies in the functional distinctiveness of its layers – at least in the eyes of this beholder.

3 ESMA consults on regulating crowdfunding

The new Regulation on crowdfunding regulates for the first time at EU level lending-based and equity-based crowdfunding services. It  introduces a single set of requirements applicable to CSPs across the EU, including strict rules to protect investors.

Crowdfunding and crowdfunding service providers seems to be a prime example of how digital financial reporting (in the ESEF format) especially of many smaller reporting entities may be put to efficient use at scale. That said, the “key investment information sheet” the regulation refers to still seems to be centered on a paper paradigm.


Christian Dreyer CFA is well known in Swiss Fintech circles as an expert in XBRL and financial reporting for investors.

 We have a self-imposed constraint of 3 news stories each week because we serve busy senior leaders in Fintech who need just enough information to get on with their job.

 For context on XBRL please read this introduction to our XBRL Week in 2016 and read articles tagged XBRL in our archives. 

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