3-Year Anniversary

Celebrating 3 Years of Digital Financial Reporting

CIPC Flying South Africa’s Flag High

Since its launch on 1 July 2018, the iXBRL program has achieved several milestones and notable victories, some of which include gaining international attention for benchmarking by jurisdictions such Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and the New Zealand Companies Office. These jurisdictions were afforded a virtual comprehensive presentation with open-ended Q&A. Other jurisdictions that expressed interest in the iXBRL project dynamics ( were not able to have an engagement for benchmarking due to the pandemic) were Botswana, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) also showed keen interest in South Africa's iXBRL program. A virtual meeting was held with some of its representatives in early 2021, in which a walkthrough of the intricacies of the project were presented to them. The slide deck of that meeting can be found here.

The total filings received in iXBRL as at 30 June '21 amounted to 39 643, consisting of unique filings spanning over one to three financial years. The year-to-year comparison from 2019/20 going into 2020/21 indicated a 33,32% increase in the volume of filings, somewhat indicating that the market is reaching a certain level of maturity in terms of iXBRL adoption. With enhanced enforcement efforts, an increased governance culture and the implementation of iXBRL by other domestic regulators, filings are expected to increase significantly in the upcoming year and beyond.

Though still at its infancy, inter-regulator meta-data harmonization, in pursuit of Standard Business Reporting; is a key value driver in saturating the financial reporting ecosystem with iXBRL in South Africa.

Notable Achievement

The CIPC was awarded for it's iXBRL initiative which led to the improvement of service delivery and operational efficiency. The three areas against which nominees for this award were judged are:

  • Originality - Degree of creativity/ innovation

  • Sustainability of efforts

  • Impact - Degree which it enhances efficiency and increase effectiveness

The CIPC demonstrated solid outputs and outcomes for the above facets and was consequently accorded the 2020 CRF Innovation Award (Commendation).

The Data

Recommended SSP Panel

As at anniversary date, the SSP Panel consisted of 23 companies rendering tagging and conversion services through 16 different software packages. Interested software vendors or distributors are invited to apply to be part of the Panel. The application should meet the required criteria as set out in the assessment criteria form for software service providers for panel membership.

Filings By Geographical Representation

The leading provinces stratified by business address were, in order of highest volume:

  1. Gauteng

  2. Western cape

  3. Kwa-Zulu Natal

  4. North West

  5. Limpopo

A statistical depiction is expected to be available in the next year or two with the implementation of a Province tagging requirement incorporated in the 2021 taxonomy.

The full IFRS standard remained the most prevalent for three years in a row, followed by IFRS for SMEs with less than a 2% margin. GRAP filings were insignificantly low due to the voluntary nature of the filings. With the introduction of the GRAP taxonomy for mandatory AFS filing as at 01 October 2021 by state-owned companies, certain municipal-owned companies and other organs of the state incorporated under the Act, the volumes are expected to increase significantly.

Total Filings by Company Type

Private companies have led the race of total filings by company type for the past three years. As at 30 June 2020, they constituted 87% (2021:83,42%) of the population at 20276 filings, while the 3-year anniversary figures indicate a 3,58% decrease in private company filings. The cumulative total filings by public companies increased to 2098 (2020:1476; 2019:956), making the nominal filing rate 19,62% (marginal increase of 102 filings) higher than the previous financial year.

AFRSC Framework at a glance

The Annual Financial Statements review Committee (AFSRC), housed under the CCDR unit, performed reviews in terms of Regulation 30(5) of the Companies Regulations, 2011. The review framework is informed by Section 29 of the Companies Act, read in conjunction with Regulation 27 of the Regulations. Sampling criteria was determined on a quarterly basis and took into account factors such as business sectors, specific accounting standards, company type and media exposure (risk-based). For further details on sampling, refer to Mr. Joey Mathekga's Colloquium presentation.

Total Sampled and Reviewed AFS

The Corporate Compliance and Disclosure Regulation (CCDR) unit sampled and reviewed a total of 1722 files as at anniversary date, representing a 104,76% increase in total reviewed AFS from the previous anniversary date. Of the companies reviewed, two public companies (one JSE listed) were issued with Compliance Notices. 53,77% of the reviewed AFS complied with the disclosure requirements in terms of IAS 1 and the Companies Act, while 610 (34,42%) companies were sent query letters, from which 256 responses resulted in the cases being resolved either by a refiling a revised version of the XHTML file or substantial defense for the findings raised. 23 (1,34%) cases remained under treatment and required further attention.

Financial Year of AFS Filed

The majority of AFS reviewed were from 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial year -ends followed by the 2017/18 financial year-end, indicating a fair proximity to the "approved on time" region of AFS by most companies. A few outliers were identified in the reviewed AFS. From the sample, a total of 22 filings were critically old (2016:16, 2015:5, 2010:1). More outliers were identified in the BI portal, which led to a change in the validation rules in late 2019 to limit filings to a retrospective period of three years in order to allow for companies to catch-up with outstanding AFS.

Recurring Findings

The granular detail of findings from AFS sampled in the 2021/21 financial year-end, assessed in the context of accounting disclosures (IAS 1) and Companies Act requirements, revealed the following prevalent non-compliance areas:


  • incorrect use of block tagging

  • incorrect tagging (value does not match tag)

  • Inadequate text Name of tag used as value in tag

  • heading tagged, but no content in tagged element

  • label of tag used as the value of the tag (e.g. Company Secretary inserted as the value for the input required in d:NameOfDesignatedPersonResponsibleForCompliance

Omitted Reports

  • Auditor's report

  • Director's Report

  • Directors' Responsibility and Approval


  • Company secretary certificate section not disclosed

  • Name of approving CoSec not disclosed

The CCDR Team

Special thanks goes to the Corporate Compliance and Disclosure (CCDR) staff members who have remained consistent in performing the required tasks over the past three years. The advent of the CoVID-19 pandemic in the 2020/21 financial year could have slowed things down, but the team kept their feet on the paddle and even went the extra mile.

Saluer les Camarades! (Salute Comrades!)