AFS preparation process

It’s been a year since the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) made it mandatory for entities that match the eligibility criteria to file their Annual Financial Statement (AFS) in the iXBRL format.

Recently, the CIPC revealed that the full-scale iXBRL implementation was a success. It has helped them to identify non-compliance in AFS filing easily and has left the staff with more time to study the data and analyze financial trends.  IRIS is proud to work with CIPC in its shift to digital financial reporting with iXBRL.

We, at IRIS CARBON®, truly believe in simplifying the compliance reporting process for entities and therefore encourage entities to leverage the CIPC iXBRL mandate to streamline the overall AFS preparation process.

However, there are a few  common challenges that companies typically face during AFS preparation and finalization.

Common Challenges

Common challenges in AFS preparation processDifficulty in collaborating with multiple teams:

With so many stakeholders – authors, reviewers internally, audit teams, legal teams involved in the process and with each of them working in silos, preparing an AFS can become a herculean task. Sharel and Doug, for example, are facing a particular problem that every company can resonate with. Sharel who heads the legal team, works from Durban, while Doug, who is the internal auditor of the company, works from the company headquarters at Johannesburg. The AFS goes through multiple stakeholders – the finance and legal teams, internal and external auditors, the CFO, and the company’s board, which leads to a lot of confusion and delay in the process of getting the work completed on time.

AFS preparation processDifficulty in maintaining multiple versions:

While reviewing the AFS, Doug finds some discrepancies in the data. He informs the concerned departments about it and asks them to fix it. The respective department heads have to not only update the data but also inform the other departments about it so that they can update their versions too. Somewhere amidst the back and forth email exchange, the teams lose track of the latest version, and that results in wastage of precious man-hours.

AFS preparation processCumbersome number updates:

In continuation to the point above, updating the numbers in the document can become quite cumbersome with the need to have the correct numbers flowing through the document at appropriate as you have to update them both in the spreadsheet as well as in the iXBRL document . You also have to make sure that the numbers are updated across the document. This again leads to unnecessary waste of time and effort as people spend time cross-checking the document repeatedly to ensure that the numbers are correctly updated across all documents.

Here’s where disclosure management software plays a pivotal role.

What is Disclosure Management Software?

Disclosure Management Software is a platform that aids you in streamlining your AFS creation process without causing any confusion in an efficient manner. Here are a few benefits of a disclosure management platform:

Disclosure-Management-Software for AFS preparation process

Common challenges in AFS preparation processEasy collaboration among teams:

Disclosure management software enables easy collaboration across different teams working in different locations. So, even if Sharel’s team works from Durban and Doug’s team works from Johannesburg, they can still easily collaborate together on a single platform and gain full control and visibility of their documents.

AFS preparation processCentralized version control:

You no longer have to sweat it out in checking and comparing multiple versions of the document, as you will be always working on the latest version of the document. You can create, view, and manage multiple versions on one platform. You can also store all the versions in one place, so all your team members use the latest version of the document without wasting time in sending multiple emails back and forth. Users can easily review the document, add comments on the document, review numbers, etc. After the review is done, the concerned teams can update the documented as requested, which results in a new version of the document being created in the platform itself.

AFS preparation processSmart updates:

Imagine the horror when Sharel informs Doug about a last-minute update in the text and number just hours before filing the AFS. It would mean updating everything across the document and checking them multiple times. Sounds familiar? Disclosure management software like IRIS CARBON® has smart and intuitive online spreadsheets and also an easy to use online editor that allow users to update numbers confidently right upto the filing deadline. What more? It automatically reflects the updated number throughout the document in all the linked places.

How can you leverage iXBRL reporting to streamline your AFS process with IRIS CARBON®

With the AFS already loaded in the IRIS CARBON® platform, our teams can easily roll forward your AFS to the upcoming reporting period with the tagging intact 100%.  We can also link an entity’s spreadsheet to the document, in that way all number updates instantly update the iXBRL a well. A company’s starting point would be to update the pre-tagged AFS with the finalized numbers in the online spreadsheet, add new disclosures as needed or modify existing disclosures. Updates to the spreadsheet updates not just the document but XBRL as well, in fact the numbers get updated at all linked places in the document. With the ability to view the latest version always, online review, easy version management, users are assured of nothing but the best in terms of process helping them save a lot of time and effort during the process of creation and finalization of the AFS.

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AFS preparation process