Redundant labels and HTML formatting: concluding our series on ESEF errors

Posted on June 25, 2021 by Editor

This week we bring you two final (for now) posts in our series on ‘ESEF Errors and Common Pitfalls’, from XBRL International’s Guidance Manager Revathy Ramanan. They follow the launch of our new repository of European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) filings, at filings.xbrl.org, drawing on our initial analysis of where and how problems are occurring across several hundred reports.

In her sixth post, on redundant labels, Revathy looks at some of the ways labelling can add confusion. One issue occurs when filers provide their own label for base taxonomy elements that differ from the labels defined in the ESEF taxonomy. This is usually done to match their wording used in the report for the line-item description and seen by the viewer. As Revathy explains, however, “this relabelling is unnecessary, and undesirable as such labels often provide a less complete description of the concept, which may make it harder to correctly understand the XBRL fact outside the context of the table.”

She concludes by looking at issues of HTML formatting. A huge strength of Inline XBRL, the format used for ESEF, is that HTML allows for a high level of document design to enhance human readability, while embedded digital tagging makes the same information readable by software. Errors can occur, however, when HTML coding sneaks into the content of the tagged facts themselves. Revathy looks at how this happens in numeric and text facts, and what to do about it – solutions include removing the extra html formatting where possible.

We hope these posts have been a useful introduction to the most common pitfalls in ESEF filings and how to avoid them. If you’ve noticed other patterns emerging, or you’re making other uses of the filings.xbrl.org repository, do let us know!

Catch up on the series here.

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