Extensive Business Reporting Language (XBRL)

Article by Elzanne de Bruin AGA (SA)

There are new requirements in terms of the format of financial statements namely XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language).  As of 1 July 2018, certain Companies and Close Corporations are responsible for submitting their approved financial statements in the XBRL format together with their annual return to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

The following Companies and Close Corporations are required to submit financial statements in XBRL format:

  • The Memorandum of Incorporation prescribes an audit of the financial statements
  • State owned or public (listed) companies
  • The Companies Act requires an audit when:
    • Company holds assets in fiduciary capacity exceeding R 5 million
    • AFS are internally compiled and the Public Interest Score exceeds 100
    • AFS are independently compiled and the Public Interest Score exceeds 350

What is XBRL?

It is digital language for financial reporting which is used globally to improve analysis, comparison and identifying trends.  More often than not a PDF version of financial statements were submitted and all data had to be analysed by humans. This made way for errors to slip through and delays in reporting the required information to relevant parties.  This new language formats the financial statements in such a manner that it is machine readable. Codes are embedded in the background, making it easy for a computer to extract certain fields for comparison and further analysis and reporting.

What is expected of you?

You as our clients don’t have to do much.  If C2M has been instructed to submit your annual returns, we will ensure that the correct format of the financial statements reaches the CIPC.  We have specialised software that will assist us with this task.  If C2M does not submit your annual return, we will gladly assist you with converting your annual financial statements into the XBRL format.  If C2M does not compile your financial statements, we will be able to assist with converting your financial statements to the required format.


We will charge a small fee for converting the financial statements into XBRL format.

Annual return and AFS responsibility Price (ex VAT)
C2M compiles AFS From R 1,700
C2M does not compile AFS From R 2,500


For your convenience, we will include the above fee as part of the fee for your annual financial statements as from the next financial year.

Should you have any further questions or require assistance, feel free to contact:

C2M Director, Carla Botha on 021 914 0261 or email carla@c2mca.co.za.