CIPC iXBRL Reporting
Like it or not, companies have no escape from compliance. You have to adhere to them unless you decide to be on the wrong side of the law. If you do not have the right strategy in hand, you could land in a lot of trouble!
That’s exactly what happened last year when the CIPC mandated complying entities in South Africa to file their Annual Financial Statements (AFS) in the iXBRL reporting standard. The CIPC introduced this new mandate on 1st July 2018 to bring in standardization and transparency in the way filing entities report financial information This means that companies who were earlier submitting their annual reports in PDF format now have to submit in the Inline XBRL (iXBRL) standard. In fact, the CIPC is so strict about the rule that they have even passed a directive called the Annual Return (AR) Hard Stop to forbid companies from filing their Annual Returns without filing their AFS in the iXBRL format.
Based on your budgetary requirements, there are software solutions available which you can license on an annual basis and take the process completely in-house. On the other hand, there are also options to outsource the conversion of your Annual Report to iXBRL to service providers. Assess your options to arrive at a solution that works best for you.
Check these 10 factors as you work through your evaluation process
- The background and credentials of the solution or service provider in iXBRL
- Tagging is done on the document and not using a template.
- The ability of a solution to generate iXBRL, not XBRL. Note that XBRL output and technical specifications are very different from iXBRL, so not all XBRL solutions cater well to iXBRL output creation)
- Customer references and testimonials in the iXBRL space
- The turn-around time for converting documents to iXBRL (ideally it should not take more than 10-15 days)
- Training provided as part of the solution or your service to your teams: on iXBRL preparation and / or review, on the CIPC mandate, CIPC taxonomy, rules and validations.
- Check if there is a possibility to get a trial run in creating an iXBRL document with your latest published annual report.
- Flexibility to switch from an outsourced model to an in-house model if needed in the future.
- Extent of support and handholding offered by the solution or service provider as you get acquainted with the new mandate.
- Add-on functionalities that solutions may offer, such as streamlining your overall AFS preparation and disclosure management process along with iXBRL, use of iXBRL data for analytics and investor relations, etc
Finding the right partner could take some time, but we recommend that you research well before choosing rather than burning your fingers or falling into the wrong books of the CIPC.
We hope this article was useful in giving a broad overview of what you need to look for while evaluating a service provider. We also offer a free consultation to companies and partners who are required to comply with this mandate. Drop us an email, and we will get in touch with you to offer any guidance or strategy direction that you need.
As they say, well begun is half done. So get started on your iXBRL journey without any further ado, and save yourself unnecessary costs, time, and worry later.