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Date Ref. Title Section Type Download Info Summary Related Documents Translated versions
16/07/2019 ESMA32-63-717 23rd Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
441.84 KB
27/03/2019 ESMA32-63-672 Enforcement and Regulatory Activities of European Accounting Enforcers in 2018 , Report PDF
1.29 MB
03/04/2018 ESMA32-63-424 Enforcement and Regulatory Activities of Accounting Enforcers in 2017 , Report PDF
955.19 KB
31/10/2017 ESMA32-63-334 Report 21st Extract from the EECS's Database of Enforcement Report PDF
522.76 KB
18/07/2017 ESMA42-111-4138 Peer Review on Guidelines on Enforcement of Financial Information , Report PDF
1.86 MB
12/07/2017 ESMA32-67-284 Review of Fair Value Measurement in the IFRS financial statements , Report PDF
1.58 MB
05/01/2017 ESMA32-63-200 20th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
498.99 KB
28/07/2016 2016/1208 19th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
488.18 KB
29/03/2016 2016/410 ESMA Report on Enforcement and Regulatory Activities of Accounting Enforcers in 2015 , , Report PDF
692.52 KB

Executive Summary

This report provides an overview of the activities of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the accounting enforcers in the European Economic Area (EEA), thereafter, ‘European enforcers’, when examining compliance of financial information provided by issuers listed on regulated markets with the applicable financial reporting framework in 2015. It also provides an overview of the main activities performed at European level, quantitative information on enforcement activities in Europe as well as ESMA’s contribution to the development of the single rule book in the area of financial reporting. In addition, it also outlines ESMA’s activities for 2016 in the area of corporate reporting following its Supervisory Convergence Work Programme.

Supervisory Convergence

Following the implementation of the ESMA Guidelines on enforcement of financial information (hereafter the Guidelines on enforcement), ESMA and European enforcers have further strengthened supervisory convergence in the area of enforcement of financial information. The Guidelines on enforcement significantly contributed to the alignment of supervisory approaches/procedures through the use of harmonised key concepts for examinations, of a common set of enforcement priorities, of common rules for enforcement actions and of a single set of criteria for identifying accounting matters for which coordination at European level within ESMA is needed. In the last area, the number of accounting issues discussed by the enforcers before taking enforcement decisions increased significantly (65 emerging issues in 2015 vs 47 in 2014) and contributed to enhancing supervisory convergence as enforcers should take into account the outcome of these discussions when taking decisions .

In 2015 ESMA and European enforcers evaluated the level of compliance with IFRS in the areas identified as common enforcement priorities for the 2014 annual financial statements on a sample of 189 issuers. This assessment resulted in 40 enforcement actions being taken on shortcomings in the disclosures of assumptions and judgements supporting the recognition of deferred tax assets arising from tax losses, when assessing control or classifying joint arrangements.

As in previous years, ESMA together with European enforcers identified and included in their supervisory practices a set of common enforcement priorities significant for European issuers when preparing their 2015 IFRS financial statements. These priorities include the impact of the financial markets’ conditions in IFRS financial statements, presentation of the statement of cash flows and related disclosures as well as the fair value measurement of non-financial assets and related disclosures. Specific references to some of the 2014 common priorities and to the new IFRS requirements, notably on IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers are also part of these priorities.

As a response to increased concerns in the markets, ESMA issued Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures (hereafter the Guidelines on APMs) which are aimed at contributing to the publication of transparent, unbiased and comparable information by European issuers on their financial performance. The Guidelines on APMs will apply to APMs disclosed by issuers when publishing regulated information or persons responsible for the prospectus. European enforcers had to adapt their supervisory procedures and declare their compliance to these guidelines.

Also as part of the supervisory convergence activities, ESMA issued an Opinion on the application of the IFRS requirements on the cash contributions to Deposit Guarantee Schemes (DGS) in order to address the divergence in the application and enforcement in the accounting treatment applicable to these contributions and to prevent it from becoming widespread.

ESMA published a Statement referring to principles relevant for improving the quality of disclosures as a response to concerns expressed by users on the overload, lack of completeness or relevance of the information provided in the financial statements.

Finally, European enforcers examined the interim or annual financial statements of approximately 1,200 issuers representing an average examination rate of 20% of all IFRS issuers with securities listed on regulated markets, out of which 14% related to unlimited scope examinations and 6% to focused examinations. As a result of these activities, European enforcers took actions addressing material departures against 273 issuers, representing around 25% of the selected sample. The main deficiencies were identified in the areas of financial statements presentation, impairment of non-financial assets and accounting for financial instruments.

Single Rule Book

ESMA actively participated to the accounting standard setting process by providing European enforcers’ positions on all major new standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and by contributing to the discussions in the EFRAG Board and the Technical Expert Group (EFRAG TEG) meetings. Notably, ESMA provided specific input to the due process and endorsement advices on IFRS 9, in aspects related to investor protection and financial stability as well as on its interaction with IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts. In addition, ESMA also contributed to the consistent application of IFRS by engaging with the IASB and the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC) when relevant issues were identified by enforcers and where a lack of clarity in IFRS could contribute to their divergent application.

In accordance with its mandate under the Transparency Directive, ESMA has submitted to the European Commission for endorsement the draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on the European Electronic Access Point (EEAP) and published the consultation paper on the draft RTS on European Single Electronic Format (ESEF).

Next Steps

ESMA published its Supervisory Convergence Work Programme which covers, among other topics, the activities of accounting enforcers. In addition to the regular activities, ESMA envisages to start carrying out peer reviews on some of the ESMA Guidelines on enforcement, to publish statements on the implementation of new major IFRS and to develop supervisory briefings to align procedures of European enforcers when monitoring and enforcing the Guidelines on APMs and disclosures in the financial statements.

25/11/2015 2015/1776 18th Extract from the EECS's Database of Enforcement Report PDF
405.97 KB
21/07/2015 2015/1135 17th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
466.55 KB
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).European enforcers monitor and review IFRS financial statements and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law.Publication of enforcement decisions will inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS; that is, whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. Such publication, together with the rationale behind these decisions, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the EEA.The decisions included in this extract were taken by national enforcers in the period from February 2013 to November 2014. ESMA will continue publishing further extracts from the database on a regular basis, with the next extract expected to be published in the second half of 2015.
18/11/2014 2014/1373 16th Extract from the EECS's Database of Enforcement Report PDF
315.55 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).European enforcers monitor and review IFRS financial statements and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law.Publication of enforcement decisions will inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS; that is, whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. Such publication, together with the rationale behind these decisions, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the EEA.Decisions included in this extract were taken by national enforcers in the period from August 2012 to March 2014. ESMA will continue publishing further extracts from the database on a regular basis, with the next extract expected to be published in the first half of 2015.

09/04/2014 2014/377 15th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
501 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).European enforcers monitor and review IFRS financial statements and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law. Publication of enforcement decisions will inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS; that is, whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. Such publication, together with the rationale behind these decisions, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the EEA. Decisions included in this extract were taken by national enforcers in the period from December 2012 to November 2013. ESMA publishes extracts from the database twice a year.

13/02/2014 2014/175 ESMA Guidelines on Alternative Performance Measures , Consultation Paper PDF
319.12 KB

Reasons for publication In October 2005, the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), ESMA’s predecessor body, published a Recommendation on Alternative Performance Measures (“CESR Recommendation” CESR/05-178b). The CESR Recommendation was issued mainly in order to reinforce the objectives of Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 2002 on the application of international accounting standards. Given the CESR Recommendation has now been in force for more than 8 years, ESMA has decided to review it with the objective of strengthening the principles contained in it. ESMA now plans to re-issue the principles as ESMA [draft] guidelines thus ensuring that issuers and NCAs will make every effort to com-ply with them. Contents ESMA is issuing this Consultation Paper (CP) to inform market participants about the background to its decision to revise the CESR Recommendation and seek their views on such revision. Section II “Introduction” indicates the reasons for which ESMA believes that these [draft] guidelines on APMs should be issued. Section III “Scope and purpose of the [draft] guidelines” indicates when the [draft] guidelines apply and how these [draft] guidelines interact with financial statements. Section IV “Compliance and reporting obligations” describes how issuers and NCAs should comply with the [draft] guidelines. Section V “[Draft] Guidelines on APMs (Background)” describes the rationale followed in preparing the [draft] guidelines and explanations on the principles provided, which are included in full in Annex III. ESMA would appreciate any comments and answers from stakeholders on the questions contained in the consultation paper. For your convenience, the questions are summarised in annex II. Next steps ESMA will consider the feedback it receives to this consultation in 2014 and expects to publish final guide-lines in the fourth quarter of 2014.

29/10/2013 2013/1545 14th Extract from the EECS' database of enforcement Report PDF
355.57 KB

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is publishing extracts from its confidential database of enforcement decisions on financial statements, with the aim of providing issuers and users of financial statements with relevant information on the appropriate application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). European enforcers monitor and review financial statements published by issuers with securities traded on a regulated market who prepare their financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and consider whether they comply with IFRS and other applicable reporting requirements, including relevant national law. Publication of enforcement decisions will inform market participants about which accounting treatments European national enforcers may consider as complying with IFRS; that is, whether the treatments are considered as being within the accepted range of those permitted by IFRS. Such publication, together with the rationale behind these decisions, will contribute to a consistent application of IFRS in the EEA.

19/07/2013 2013/1013 Guidelines on enforcement of financial information , Consultation Paper PDF
540.55 KB

Responding to this paper The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is seeking comments on all matters covered in this paper and in particular on the specific questions summarised in Annex 1. Comments are most helpful if they: respond to the question stated; indicate the specific question to which the comment relates; contain a clear rationale; and describe any alternatives ESMA should consider. Deadline ESMA will consider all comments received by 15 October 2013. All contributions should be submitted online at www.esma.europa.eu under the heading “Your input - Consultations” Publication of responses All contributions received will be published following the close of the consultation, unless you request otherwise. Please clearly and prominently indicate in your submission any part you do not wish to be publicly disclosed. A standard confidentiality statement in an email message will not be treated as a request for non-disclosure. A confidential response may be requested from us in accordance with ESMA’s rules on access to documents. We may consult you if we receive such a request. Any decision we make not to disclose the response is reviewable by ESMA’s Board of Appeal and the European Ombudsman. Data protection Information on data protection can be found at www.esma.europa.eu under the heading “Legal Notice”. Who should read this paper All interested parties are invited to respond to this consultation paper. It will primarily be of interest to those charged with the governance of issuers preparing financial information, users of financial information, auditors, and other parties who have a particular interest in financial reporting.

04/04/2013 2013/444 13th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
512.42 KB
10/10/2012 2012/656 12th Extract from the EECS’s Database of Enforcement Report PDF
352.16 KB
10/11/2011 2011/373 Consultation paper- Considerations of materiality in financial reporting , Consultation Paper PDF
170.93 KB
16/08/2011 2011/265 11th Extract from the EECS's Database of Enforcement Decisions Report PDF
329.49 KB