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XBRL is a technology standard that enables the implementation of Digital Financial Reporting, for reporting entities to submit Annual Financial Statements to the CIPC

The scope of XBRL reporting applies to a sub-set of around 100 000 qualifying entities, out of a total of around 1.8 million entities registered with the CIPC.

Entities incorporated under the Companies Act 71 of 2008 who are expected to submit Annual Financial Statements to CIPC should do so through the new reporting platform.

All qualifying companies that need to submit must do so within the rollout period which is from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019

Failure to comply by the specified date, a fine may be issued or formal prosecution may be instigated.

How Did It start?

The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission of South Africa (CIPC), has launched a Programme in 2016 to introduce eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). XBRL is a technology standard that enables the implementation of Digital Financial Reporting, by revolutionizing the way reporting entities submit Annual Financial Statements (AFSs) to the CIPC. The CIPC is the central government agency in South Africa responsible for both registration and regulation of companies and close corporations.

The scope of XBRL reporting applies to a sub-set of around 100 000 qualifying entities, out of a total of around 1.8 million entities registered with the CIPC.

The Commission has mandated submission of AFSs for qualifying reporting entities via XBRL as from 1 July 2018, and a notice in this regard has been published on the CIPC website.

Reason for (XBRL)

XBRL is gaining momentum worldwide as a best-practise standard for electronic data exchange amongst organizations.

Sharing data with other government agencies can be used for economic policy formulation. The economy as a whole can therefore be impacted in a positive way. Potential data sharing with private investment companies can also assist with better investment advice and decisionmaking. In the case of the CIPC, the following reasons led to the adoption of XBRL: Improved efficiency for dealing with high volumes of reports – manual analysis of large numbers of AFSs will be replaced by automated analysis and validation of reporting criteria;

By implementing XBRL, the CIPC hopes to pioneer the eventual roll-out of Standard Business Reporting (SBR) in South Africa, where various regulators can share data – the principle of “report-once-share-many”. This will eliminate the need for businesses to report different formats of financial statements to multiple regulators;

The CIPC Business Case

Improved efficiency for dealing with high volumes of reports - manual analysis of large numbers of AFSs will be replaced by automated analysis and validation of reporting criteria.

Improved regulatory effectiveness - analysis on consolidated statements per industry via business intelligence (BI) technology will replace the limitations of manual sample analysis on individual statements only. XBRL therefore enables improved ‘big picture’ insight into businesses in South Africa.

By implementing XBRL, the CIPC paves the way for eventual standard business reporting (SBR) in South Africa where various regulators can share data - the principle of report-onceshare-many’. This will eliminate the need for businesses to report different formats of financial statements to multiple regulators.

Potential data-sharing with private investment companies will assist with better investment advice and decision-making. Sharing data with other government agencies can even be used for economic policy formulation. The economy as a whole can therefore be impacted in a positive way.