XBRL and your practice
As you know, CIPC will require of all qualifying entities to submit their Annual Financial Statements (AFS) online via XBRL going forward from 1 July 2018. XBRL is an Extensible Business Reporting Language for electronic communication of business information providing major benefits in the preparation, analysis, communication of Annual Financial Statements.
Some of the benefits of mapping all AFS in accordance with the XBRL taxonomy include improved searchability, accuracy, comparability, transparency, efficiency and automation.
Very important to note is that the CIPC allows auditors to submit AFS of their clients via XBRL as long as they are registered at CIPC as intermediaries. This means that Section 90(2) of the Companies Act, 2008 will not be breached, but care must be taken to ensure that the auditor doesn’t perform any prohibited non-assurance services like compiling the financial statements of the audit client and thereby contravene the Companies Act in another way.
CIPC has put in place various data security measures through implementing comprehensive cyber security solutions and additional access controls within the XBRL portal.
There is no need for small businesses to feel intimidated by XBRL, since there are already many solutions in the market to convert AFS from PDF to XBRL format – there are simple and affordable cloud-based solutions for XBRL tagging only available, which works fantastic when using the IFRS-SME entry-points into the taxonomy instead of using IFRS-FULL.
The CIPC website contains many links to additional resources on this topic: http://www.cipc.co.za/index.php/xbrl-programme. LEAF will also gladly provide you with practical advice on how to incorporate XBRL into your practice and comply with the Companies Act, 2008 without causing unnecessary disruption to your clients.