From Finland — The Story Of An ESEF iXBRL Filing

About Basware Oyj

Headquartered in Finland, Basware Oyj is a software company crafting enterprise software, primarily in the procure-to-pay space. Spread across more than 50 countries in 6 continents, the company boasts of strong expertise in the fields of procurement automation and cloud invoicing. With this, Basware intends to revolutionize B2B interoperability.

In keeping with the vision of being a global leader, Basware Oyj decided to embrace the ESEF iXBRL reporting format for its 2020 Annual Financial Report (AFR). This, despite having the option to postpone their ESEF filing by one year. 

Team Basware prepares the ground for their ESEF iXBRL filing

To make the move towards iXBRL swift, a small team led by the CFO at Basware, Riku Jarvela, sought to examine how best to proceed with regards to the new reporting mandate. External software vendors were consulted in early 2020, and five of them were shortlisted after multiple demos. But Basware’s final decision was still a while away. 

Since ESEF iXBRL was a new mandate and technology, Basware had several apprehensions. The team’s initial impulse was to cultivate internal expertise and do their filings in-house. But due to the absence of an XBRL expert, Basware found it hard to pick things up from scratch.

ESEF iXBRL reporting

Subsequently, the team realized the significance of a specialist to take the project forward. Riku and his colleagues then had discussions with three software vendors of the five shortlisted previously. The focus this time was on 4 key software features.

ESEF iXBRL reportingUsability: A software with easy navigation, and an orderly, clear user interface.

ESEF iXBRL reportingPracticality: A software with out-of-the-box abilities to deliver results as assured.

ESEF iXBRL reportingFlexibility: A software with the option for outsourcing tasks at a later stage.

ESEF iXBRL reportingPricing: A cost-effective software.

IRIS CARBON® checks all the boxes for Basware

Out of the three service providers further shortlisted by Basware, IRIS CARBON® was the only software which complied with all four of the requirements listed above. IRIS CARBON® being a global service-provider with a reputation for quality XBRL filings, helped expedite Basware’s decision.

Team Basware and IRIS CARBON® get to work

ESEF iXBRL reporting

IRIS CARBON®, in conjunction with Riku and his colleague Janina, organized a two-day training session for Basware. The users were acquainted with the features on offer and how to utilize them to generate an ESEF iXBRL report. Using the company’s 2019 AFR, team IRIS CARBON® was able to tag their statements and produce an xHTML report successfully. The final report was generated after due validation on the XBRL side of the document. The validation was performed via IRIS Bushchat®, the XII-certified validator built into the IRIS CARBON® platform. 

The output was then shared with the company’s auditor for the second round of validations. Except for some minor adjustments, Basware’s auditor had no issues with the final output.

Using this validated report as a base, IRIS CARBON® team advanced to tag Basware’s 2020 financial statements. This was a relatively swift process since the foundation had already been laid. Some of the changes that were suggested by Basware before the final submission to the OAM included formatting and grammatical changes. The final submission was promptly validated by the OAM and Basware’s first ESEF iXBRL filing was complete. Basware then published their 2020 annual report in the ESEF iXBRL format on their website. 

Ease of implementation & learnings from the filing

“Filing with IRIS CARBON® was an absolute breeze and everything worked smoothly. We got what was promised and the quality was good. It is easy to work with professionals who put their clients’ needs as top priority”, said Riku Jarvela of Basware Corporation after becoming IRIS CARBON®’s first ever ESEF issuer.

Basware’s ESEF filing was their first brush with the entire ESEF filing process and its ground realities. “It has been a great learning for our entire team on the dos and don’ts of ESEF filings, allowing us to improve on our own internal processes”, Riku said after completing their ESEF iXBRL filing. His advice to those watching from the stands: Don’t hold up. Dive right in!

Riku laid 4 pointers for the future ESEF issuers:

ESEF iXBRL reportingDo a dry run with an older annual report as it provides invaluable insights.

ESEF iXBRL reportingStart with a draft annual report for ESEF (5 statements) and then work your way forward.

ESEF iXBRLPlan your calendar well to minimize last minute changes.

ESEF iXBRLCommunicate clearly across different teams to ensure a successful ESEF filing.

The larger ESEF filing landscape

While some of the above advisories could be specific to Basware and their ESEF filing needs, our piece on ESEF challenges and insights will nudge you in a general direction towards your ESEF iXBRL reporting requirements.

IRIS CARBON®’s global experience of over 16 years aiding clients with their XBRL filings demonstrates that outsourcing is considered as a dependable approach by most companies, at least for the initial filings. Looking at ESEF filings in Finland, we found that 48% of companies in Finland i.e., 70 out of a total of 145 firms eligible to file their annual reports using the ESEF iXBRL format, have done so as on the time of publication.

Although ESEF iXBRL reporting will come into its own from 2022, Finland has had a head start with a bevy of voluntary ESEF filings, advancing much better than some other regions.

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