Italy introduces ESEF audit requirement
The Inline XBRL-based European Single Electronic Format (ESEF) is now required for financial reporting across the EU. Italy has published a new audit standard, setting out responsibilities for auditors of ESEF reports.
The standard requires that auditors must obtain reasonable assurance, based on sufficient and appropriate audit evidence, that the financial statements and consolidated financial statements to be included in the annual financial report, comply with the provisions of the EU Delegated Regulation on ESEF and are both human- and machine-readable. Auditors must also express an opinion on this compliance, with the standard listing in detail the information that the audit report should contain.
This is a positive step. However, more generally, investors, companies, auditors and regulators alike will be better served once there is a single set of authoritative literature for auditors to follow in this field, either across Europe, or better, at an international level via the the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).