Annual Returns and AFS in XBRL Format

Annual Returns and AFS in XBRL Format 2018-02-21T08:27:18+00:00

The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (“CIPC”) has introduced a new way of lodging the Annual Financial Statements (“AFS”) which are to accompany the Annual Returns of a company.

At present CIPC receives all Annual Financial Statements in PDF format.

eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) reporting is currently being used in over 50 countries around the world and is a new way of supplying the annual returns. Having financial statements in an XBRL format means the Department of Trade and Industry, through CIPC, can use the data, share it, and also analyse it on a clearly defined digital platform.

There are currently about 1.8 million companies registered at CIPC. The initial implementation phase, which is due to start in July 2018, requires certain types of companies to submit their financial statements in an XBRL format.

These entities include:

  • Public listed companies;
  • State owned companies;
  • Private companies with a Public Interest Score of 350 or more;
  • Companies whose Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) or Articles of Association requires the auditing of their financial statements.

These companies are from 1 July 2018 required to have tagging software in place to produce the Annual Financial Statements in XBRL format, alternatively to have an outsourced partner who can do so on their behalf.

After this first phase all companies with a Public Interest Score of over 100 will also be required to submit their financial statements in the XBRL format however this date is still to be determined.

The XBRL tagging process takes place in distinct stages:

  1. AFS are uploaded to the application.
  2. The application applies as many tags as possible from a degree of intelligence existing in the application.
  3. The files are reviewed and any ambiguities corrected.
  4. The resultant XBRL file is then subject to a validation check, to ensure it will meet the validation requirements of the receiving regulator – In this case CIPC.

Please contact our office should you require assistance in filing the CIPC annual returns and the AFS in the required XBRL format.