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Background on submitting AFS in iXBRL using Caseware

Published:  26/01/2018
Background on submitting AFS in iXBRL using Caseware, what do I need to know?


You may have heard about XBRL, but have no idea what it is all about except perhaps that you need to start using XBRL for reporting your Annual Financial Statements. If that is the case, you are in the right place.

In an attempt to enhance the filing efficiency of Annual Financial Statements and improve the quality of information submitted, CIPC considered creating standardization to maintain consistency of reporting and therefore introduced iXBRL as a method applicable in line with global standards.  The CIPC has mandated the submission of Annual Financial Statements to the CIPC through the Digital Business Reporting technology of XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language), from 1 July 2018.

Are your Annual Financial Statements ready to submit to CIPC in an XBRL-compliant format?

  • If you use Caseware Working Papers then you are sorted. Come the 1st of July 2018 we can assist you to submit your financial statements in iXBRL format to ensure that you meet the regulatory requirements.
  • XBRL does not change what is reported, only how it is reported.
  • Caseware Africa has been a part of the XBRL SA working group for over 10 years and has thus also been highly involved in the CIPC XBRL project since its inception.
  • Caseware has long been used to produce XBRL Annual Financial Statements by many companies around the world.
  • XBRL is embedded in Caseware and allows you to tag your annual financial statements
  • Caseware not only deals with the task of tagging the final documents, it provides you with a total internal control and Financial Reporting solution. It manages the entire task, from the importing of trial balance data, through the preparation of financial statements and audit files, all the way to producing the iXBRL document.
  • Caseware doesn’t just deal with the Financial Reporting process, but the assurance process and document management for engagements of any size and complexity. And if you are looking for real efficiency, the combined Audit/Financial Reporting engagements are the most highly integrated system available on the market.

I use Word & Excel to produce accounts. What are my options? 

Click here to read more on Caseware Africa iXBRL Lite for AFS that are not drafted in Caseware Working Papers.

What is XBRL and iXBRL?

Click here for more information.

What problems does XBRL solve?

Companies traditionally transmit their financial information in a printed or electronic format (such as PDF). The recipients either read the information or, if wanting to use computer-assisted analysis or electronic storage, manually transfer the data from the document into their systems. Of course, this process is time-consuming, laborious and prone to error. When processing information from hundreds of companies, the task becomes highly impractical. Often information might be discarded in favour of expediency.

XBRL removes the need for manual input, as XBRL-enabled software can read XBRL-tagged data and import the information directly. So data can be passed between disparate computer systems with human intervention needed only in the case of exceptions. The resulting efficiency reduces the cost of communicating and maintaining financial data, while improving its usability, integrity and compliance. In addition, if XBRL is used as the standard, data can be retransmitted without specially transforming it to other formats required by further recipients.

What are the advantages of XBRL?

Because XBRL-tagged financial reports can be read by computers, the software can be used to validate them for accuracy, making them more reliable, compliant and auditable. This can be done with little effort by both the issuer and recipients. Being XML-based, XBRL inherits various methods for searching, querying and analysing data, meaning that companies and their stakeholders will be able to analyse financials more effectively. A fundamental feature of XBRL is that it is fully internationalised. In other words, documents created in one country can be viewed in another language by recipients at a different geographic location. This is because XBRL provides online dictionaries of its tags and common terminology in all major languages.

These can be invoked automatically when a document is displayed by software. An XBRL document can be used across international boundaries with no loss of meaning. In a world in which companies routinely communicate with global partners, investors and stakeholders, XBRL provides a common platform for reviewing standardised information. Companies can also gain worldwide access to the financials of their foreign divisions as often as required. Furthermore, XBRL helps companies to improve compliance to standards.

Once tagged, financials will remain compliant to the chosen standard (e.g. IFRS), without constant auditing for compliance, as often needed with printed reports. Apart from the benefits afforded to companies, XBRL is growing in popularity among consumers of financial data, such as regulators, analysts and financial institutions which can achieve greater productivity and offer improved services because of the standard.

Which entities need to comply and how is this determined?

Click here to read more and to calculate your PI score.
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