Semantic HTML is a crucial element of web page design and therefore relates to financial reports in XHTML format that comply with ESEF. It allows algorithms to better understand and navigate the financial information presented on a page, improving its visibility and indexing.
Before Semantic HTML, developers used the same markup to structure contents and lay them out. However, they did not describe the meaning of the elements (eg it’s a title, it’s a table, etc.): re-exploiting the information was impossible. Semantic HTML aims at solving this problem by using markup that describes the nature of the displayed element. It does not change the appearance of a page, but rather the way content is structured and described. It is therefore possible to use style sheets to lay out data while using semantic tags to define the nature of the content.
By using semantic HTML in financial reports in XHTML format, readers can rely on algorithms to more easily find and understand important financial information. This improves transparency and trust in the companies providing this information. Investors and shareholders can easily compare and use this information to make informed decisions.
In a study published this month by the AMF, the results show that the use of appropriate tags enable a “better structure for both text and tables” in financial documents. Thus, by using a tagging solution with semantic HTML like Pomdoc Pro, the so-called “automatic” readings are effective. By implementing semantic HTML markup, issuers anticipate the ease data use automation that will be common with the arrival of ESAP, expected in 2026. Spoiler alert: Investors will also want to check out and compare financial reports from previous years… In addition, some authorities are already imposing the use of semantic HTML in deposits. Prepare today the structuring of your financial data and chose a technology using semantic HTML, like Pomdoc Pro.