In the area of Corporate Reporting, which covers issues related to accounting, periodic reporting and storage of regulated information as well as auditing, ESMA work is being carried out by the Corporate Reporting Standing Committee, supported by two permanent task forces, the European Enforcers Coordination Sessions (EECS) and the IFRS Project Group (IFRS PG) as well as a number of temporary working groups.
Convergence of enforcement
ESMA seeks to promote common supervisory approaches and practices across Member States through the EECS, which is a forum for national accounting enforcers from the European Economic Area (EEA). Its main role is to promote consistent application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) as endorsed by the European Union (IAS Regulation, Regulation 2002/1606 EC) and foster convergence of enforcement practices across the EEA by issuing guidelines to be followed by national enforcers and through setting annually European Common Enforcement Priorities, aligning technical positions and decisions taken by enforcers and enhancing mutual understanding. While supervision of listed entities and enforcement of financial information is performed at national level as required by the Transparency Directive (Directive 2004/109/EC), as a result of the enforcement coordination, ESMA is able to align application and enforcement of IFRS or identify areas where a lack of guidance from the standards or divergent interpretations of the IFRS are observed. These are referred to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and International Financial Reporting Standards Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC) that are responsible for development and interpretation of IFRSs.
Development of accounting standards
In order to contribute to the development of the ‘single rulebook’, ESMA contributes to the development of high-quality financial reporting standards. ESMA particularly focuses on improvement of the decision usefulness and transparency of financial information and the enforceability of IFRS by contributing to the due process of the IASB related to development of new IFRSs or their amendments. In close cooperation with EBA and EIOPA, ESMA actively contributes to the endorsement process of the new IFRS and/or their amendments in the European Union (EU) by participating as official observer in the Accounting Regulatory Committee (ARC) as well as in the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and its working groups.
Periodic reporting and storage of regulated information
As required by the amended Transparency Directive (Directive 2013/50/EU), ESMA is developing regulatory technical standards with respect to the specifications of the European single electronic reporting format and the operation of a central access point for regulated information at the EU level.
Following publication of the regulation on statutory audit of public-interest entities (Regulation 2014/537/EU) and the directive enhancing the single market for statutory audits (Directive 2014/56/EU), amending the Directive on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts (Directive 2006/43/EC), ESMA will assume responsibilities related to the technical assessment of public oversight systems of third countries and to the international cooperation between EU audit oversight authorities and third countries.