iXBRL in South Africa – Why it makes sense

What is iXBRL filing?

In iXBRL filing – iXBRL stands for Inline Xtensible Business Reporting Language (iXBRL) is a tool for preparing, analyzing, and communicating annual financial reports electronically.

The iXBRL format of digital reporting is required by companies in order to egress from PDF reporting to a more structured format. Ultimately, this will reduce the burden of multiple regulatory submissions.

Get to know more about “What is iXBRL filing?” with CIPC in South Africa.

Earlier, regulators in South Africa used to collect Annual Financial Statements (AFS) of the companies in PDF and paper formats. However, there was an increasing need for adopting an international standard that enabled accurate, efficient, and fast exchange of business information. As a result, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) of South Africa introduced the Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (iXBRL) system. iXBRL is a non-profit digital program with the aim of becoming the global standard for electronic business reporting. Apart from iXBRL in South Africa, several other regulators use XBRL and iXBRL in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, EU, Japan, USA, UK, etc. 

The Introduction of iXBRL filing in South Africa

iXBRL for digital reporting allows filers to insert financial data directly into a programmed document in the HTML format. It helps the filers convert merged balance sheets, statements of cash flow, and income statements into machine-readable data without compromising human readability. The introduction of iXBRL filing in South Africa was necessary to take a big step towards enhancing the exchange of financial information between different users. By allowing companies to file their AFS digitally in a more structured format, the iXBRL reporting system has helped streamline the entire filing process with CIPC. 

The mandate of iXBRL, on 1st July 2018 in South Africa, has helped companies reduce their compliance burden. How? By reducing multiple submissions to different reporters. Furthermore, it has helped businesses provide their financial information in a controllable format without altering the preparation process for their documents. 

Choosing Inline iXBRL over convention XBRL has helped South African companies establish human readability along with a standardised data structure for accurate analysis. With iXBRL, CIPC has successfully met its goal to create an environment of doing business with simplicity and more regulatory compliance. The introduction of iXBRL filing in South Africa has helped reduce compliance costs for filers. Furthermore, it has improved data quality and accuracy. 

CIPC and Standard Business Reporting

CIPC has successfully paved the way for standard business reporting in South Africa. iXBRL is a technology standard best suited to achieve standard business reporting. It envisages all South African government agencies and regulators based on the same taxonomy or format. The standard format has reduced the burden on South African companies and reporting entities to file multiple financials to different regulators in different formats every year. 

iXBRL Filing – Bottom Line

Since its mandate, iXBRL in South Africa has offered several advantages to companies and filers. While some companies still feel it is a compliance burden, it has helped streamline the entire process. If you want to focus on your core activities, you can outsource your iXBRL filing requirements to a trusted vendor like DataTracks. 

DataTracks has an experience of more than 17 years of filing compliance reports for companies in various countries. With the expertise of 2,20,000+ compliance reports for more than 21,500 clients, the company can help you streamline your filing process with CIPC. To know more about their services, contact a DataTracks expert @ +27-10-446-9061 or email at enquiry@datatracks.co.za

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