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The adoption of digital financial reporting formats in Germany : perceptions and experiences on the potential impacts of the ESEF regulation on the preparation, disclosure, and usage of annual reports

  • The year 2020 marks a year of change in the European accounting community, as the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF regulation) makes its entrance into financial reporting. It obliges firms listed on stock exchanges in the European Un-ion (EU) to disclose annual reports in a standard electronic format. This study analyses the ways in which the introduction of a mandatory, standardized digital financial reporting format changes the way annual reports are being prepared, dis-closed, and used. It takes a producer perspective, i.e., evaluating this question from the point of view of companies preparing and disclosing annual reports as well as auditors and advisors, supporting the preparation and quality assurance. The focus is on German listed companies, for which ESEF will be mandatory for annual re-port disclosures from the fiscal year 2020 onwards. To develop propositions on that topic, expert interviews are conducted with representatives of German listed companies, auditing, and advisory firms. These interviews are analyzed following a grounded theory-based approach in coherence with the Gioia methodology. The results show three aggregated dimensions that are relevant for the digital financial reporting introduction in Germany. These dimensions differentiate between short-term and long-term impacts of the regulation, reflecting on it being just a format now but analyzing its game changing potential for the future. This study contributes to the ongoing discussion of how innovations affect listed companies and the financial communication.

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Document Type:Working Paper
Author:Marina Mäurer, Hendrik Pieper, Henning ZülchORCiD
Series (Serial Number):HHL-Arbeitspapier / HHL Working paper (198)
Year of Completion:2022
First Page:1
Last Page:41
Page Number:41
Content Focus:Academic Audience
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt