The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), on 1st July 2018, mandated iXBRL as the standard to file the Annual Financial Statements. This shift from the unstructured PDF format has been a positive step towards standardized financial reporting. Agencies and countries across the globe are in the process of adopting XBRL/iXBRL and it was only a matter of time before the CIPC was on-board as well. As close to 100,000 qualifying companies in South Africa prepare to adopt this mandate, it’s important to follow the process set by the CIPC to ensure a successful transition.

Like any other regulatory agency, the CIPC has its own specifications leveraging the XBRL standard, and it is important to meet them to avoid consequences and benefit your business simultaneously.

The CIPC Taxonomy

A Taxonomy is a dictionary of concepts (called tags or elements) – both financial and non-financial. For this purpose, the regulatory agency publishes a ‘taxonomy’ that defines the scope of what is needed from an electronic reporting perspective.

The CIPC iXBRL taxonomy has 5515 concepts and is primarily based on the IFRS taxonomy. The facts, disclosures, and items entity’s AFS also needs to reflect specific concepts within the overall suite of concepts specified by the CIPC in this taxonomy. Following is the overall count of disclosures in the CIPC taxonomy and its classification.

Details Count of disclosures
Concepts from the IFRS taxonomy 5021
CIPC specific concepts 494
Total concepts in the CIPC taxonomy 5515

Here’s a look at a part of the CIPC taxonomy. It has a classification of the information under several headers (also called link roles).

1 CIPC taxonomy

For example, tags related to the general information of the company are available in the link 100,000-General information about the financial statements.


Each of the concepts in the CIPC taxonomy is referred to as an iXBRL Tag. Below is an example of the tag from the CIPC Taxonomy for the concept of Revenue.

Attribute Name Ifrs-full-Revenue
Data Type monetaryItemtype
Balance Type Credit
Period Type Duration

The Element/Attribute Name is also called the tag name. When converting your AFS to iXBRL, you need to find elements or tags in the CIPC taxonomy for as many of the reported items in your AFS as possible.

Three key attributes for each tag in the taxonomy are:

Data Type which explains what type of data is being reported – a monetary item (like income, expenses, assets), a percentage, number of shares, etc

Balance Type – this is pertinent only for monetary concepts and denotes whether a monetary concept is a ‘debit’ or ‘credit’

Period Type denotes which period the data is reported for. It also defines whether the data or the concept being tagged, is measured on a particular date or over a period of time.

  • Instant – All data which is reported as at an instant of time, or as of a particular date, are reported with Instant Period Type. Example: Balance sheet concepts will have an instant period type since a Balance sheet is reported on a particular date.
  • Duration – All data reported over a period of time, are reported with Duration Period Type. Example: Income statement concepts will have duration period type since items reported on an Income statement are typically measured over 12 months.

All the tags and the attributes of each are available in the CIPC taxonomy.

A basic understanding of these concepts and the taxonomy can make a big difference when you file your XBRL report. You will be able to supervise the process and ask the right questions to the professional who takes care of your report. Most importantly, if you follow the process right, you will have access to accurate financial data that will truly empower your business.

Trust our expertise in iXBRL for your AFS filing needs.

IRIS is the trusted partner of the CIPC and has implemented CIPC’s iXBRL platform to receive and validate all iXBRL filings in South Africa. IRIS has over 14 years experience in structured data space and has worked with 1.5+ million filers on 5+ million filings.

To find out how we can help you meet the CIPC iXBRL mandate, get in touch with us today at

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