The CIPC iXBRL mandate: A timeline

October 1st 2019, the CIPC rolled out its latest updated taxonomy, thereby successfully launching the second phase of its iXBRL mandate and becoming the first regulator in the African continent to do a full-scale implementation of iXBRL.

This journey was certainly not an easy one. The CIPC executed its iXBRL mandate across South Africa with great amount of planning and diligence. Let’s explore its journey.

iXBRL Report

CIPC iXBRL mandate: A timeline

ixbrl mandate - The CIPC iXBRL mandate: A timeline

Pre-Mandate preparation

  • The CIPC started with developing a taxonomy to suit the requirements of South African companies.
  • Using the available IFRS taxonomy as a starting point, additional elements were added based on South Africa specific reporting requirements.
  • After a public review and deliberation, the CIPC XBRL taxonomy was released to the general public in August 2016.
  • With the taxonomy in place, the CIPC decided to mandate iXBRL for qualifying entities and it did so in the most efficient way possible: in phases.
  • The CIPC was also looking out for a reliable filing platform to receive the iXBRL filings that would eventually be lodged by entities. After a detailed evaluation, the CIPC picked IRIS iFile (an end-to-end data filing platform) as the platform through which all entities would lodge their iXBRL reports.
  • Further, IRIS Bushchat, an efficient and reliable processor was deployed for validating the lodged iXBRL files.
  • Together, the CIPC, along with XDS and IRIS, developed a portal that would enable a smooth lodgement process.

iXBRL Report

CIPC iXBRL mandate: A timeline

ixbrl mandate - The CIPC iXBRL mandate: A timeline

The Pilot Phase

  • The CIPC began its process trial and testing on 15 February 2018. In this process, the web portal went through rigorous testing and all technical issues were resolved.
  • 60 companies were invited to create iXBRL documents and test-file them through the CIPC portal, to ensure the process was smooth for filers.
  • Simultaneously, global iXBRL solution and service providers also started preparing their products to support the CIPC iXBRL mandate, with offerings that ranged from self-filing solutions to assisted services.
  • The solutions and services who made the cut would be eventually included in the Software Service Provider panel by the CIPC, on their website.
  • The feedback on the ease of the process encouraged the CIPC to proceed with the rollout of the live mandate.

iXBRL Report

CIPC iXBRL mandate: A timeline

ixbrl mandate - The CIPC iXBRL mandate: A timeline

Phases 1 and 2 of iXBRL implementation

  • 1 July, 2018 marked an important day in CIPC’s history as their web portal rolled out for live Inline XBRL Filings of entities AFS.
  • The CIPC mandated about 100,000 qualifying entities for this and set up a Software Service Provider panel to provide client-side solutions assessed by the CIPC for compliance with minimum technical requirements.
  • The CIPC also initiated a major awareness campaign about iXBRL. It set-up the ‘iXBRL Programme’ menu and introduced the ‘hard-stop’ functionality on 1 August, 2018 which was eventually rolled back due to technical issues and re-implemented on 7 February, 2019.
  • On 1 October 2019, the CIPC released the updated taxonomy on its website, marking the launch of the second phase of its mandate.

It has been a truly long and arduous journey for the CIPC. It has faced countless hurdles in its efforts to bring business transparency in South Africa. But despite the resistance and criticism, the CIPC has managed to establish a new business perspective in South Africa. This perspective that champions advancement, efficiency and transparency has resulted in 11,302 iXBRL filings on the CIPC’s web portal and reported revenue of R 101 Trillion. Even though this may seem like a small number, it’s a tremendous achievement considering the challenges that the CIPC has faced. The next few years will undoubtedly re-establish the business culture and economy of South Africa as the country taps into the potential of XBRL and starts experiencing the benefits of its implementation.

About IRIS

IRIS has in the XBRL implementation space since 2005 and has done XBRL filings across 22 countries. IRIS is a trusted partner of the CIPC, and has implemented the iXBRL filing platform and the iXBRL validator for CIPC. Our clients include security commissions, central banks, business registries, stock exchanges, public companies, private companies, banks, and mutual funds. With more than 1.5 million filers across the globe, we do more than implementing the XBRL standard; we actually help to shape it. To know more about what we do, visit our website.

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