Data Elements That Need to be Submitted via iXBRL

The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) aims at reducing the administrative burden on companies while reporting financial statements and achieving regulatory compliance. This is why, on 1st July 2018, CIPC mandated Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (iXBRL), a digital reporting system for all qualifying businesses. iXBRL provides significant benefits to the companies in preparing, analyzing, and submitting their Annual Financial Statements (AFS). Depending on the regulations laid down by the Companies Act, all entities must file their AFS along with their Annual Returns. 

The tagging of AFS in the iXBRL program is based on the Minimum Tagging Approach. At the highest level, a company needs to tag the complete AFS with the iXBRL tags. The minimum tagging approach for AFS requires individual tagging of all applicable facts in the Primary Financial Statement (PFS), which are as follows:-

  • Statement of financial position, current/ non-current
  • Statement of financial position, order of liquidity
  • Statement of comprehensive income, profit or loss, by the function of expense
  • Statement of comprehensive income, profit or loss, by nature of expense
  • Statement of comprehensive income, OCI components presented before tax
  • Statement of comprehensive income, OCI components presented net of tax
  • Statement of cash flows, direct method
  • Statement of cash flows, indirect method
  • Statement of changes in equity
  • Statement of changes in net assets accessible for benefits

Mandatory Data Elements in iXBRL Submission

Apart from the minimum requirements mentioned above, several mandatory data elements are validated for all businesses, irrespective of the report in which they are referenced. CIPC has included all these elements in the taxonomy’s validation rules, and missing out on any of these elements results in a rejection of the submission. You can find these mandatory data elements marked with the word ERROR here

Other than the mandatory elements, the following elements, although not mandatory, need an explanation in the footnote when not applicable:-

  • Assets
  • Cash and Cash Equivalents
  • Cash Flows from Financing Activities
  • Cash Flow from Investing Activities
  • Cash Flow from Operating Activities
  • Comprehensive Income
  • Equity
  • Equity and Liabilities
  • Increase/ Decrease in Cash and Cash Equivalents
  • Changes in Equity
  • Liabilities
  • Other Comprehensive Income
  • Profit/ Loss
  • Profit/ Loss Before Tax
  • Revenue
  • Income Tax Expense/ Continuing Operations
  • Third-Party Liabilities
  • Turnover

Data elements that are part of the minimum tagging requirements need to be tagged individually, relating to the specific industry. If an entity wants to report a financial fact not part of the CIPC taxonomy, it can do so by reporting the point in ‘other’ data elements. Plus, the business needs to explain the nature of the fact vis an iXBRL footnote linked to the ‘other’ data element. 

Streamline Your iXBRL Filing With DataTracks

Understanding the different data elements that you need to submit and then preparing and filing AFS can seem to be an incredibly arduous process, involving a lot of time, cost, and effort. However, outsourcing your iXBRL requirements to a trusted partner like DataTracks can help you focus on the business’s core activities by freeing up resources. 

With the expertise of 16+ years and catering to the iXBRL needs of more than 19,900 clients worldwide, DataTracks has gained prowess in a smooth and streamlined preparation, filing, and submission of AFS with CIPC for South African companies.  

To know more about the services that DataTracks offers, speak to an iXBRL expert @ +27-10-446-9061 or email at

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