Choosing your CIPC iXBRL Solution or Service Provider

October 25, 2019by Team IRIS CARBON

The CIPC introduced the iXBRL reporting mandate in 2018 to bring standardization and transparency to the Annual Financial Statements (AFS) of companies in South Africa. There are different options available for companies to prepare their AFS in iXBRL format – they can handle the process completely in-house, outsource it to a service provider, or use a blended approach.

Here are 8 points to consider while evaluating iXBRL solution/service providers.

XBRL Partner Credentials

Research the background and credentials of the iXBRL reporting solution or service provider. Check the years of experience, number of iXBRL professionals available on their team, the number of iXBRL filings they have handled in the past, and how confident they are of converting your filings with high accuracy.

Customer References

Ask for references from current customers. This will give you an idea of what your experience will be with the service provider.  

Tagging approach

Ensure that iXBRL tagging is done on the face of your final AFS itself, and not done in a separate excel or template. Tagging on a separate template or excel is not recommended and does not conform to iXBRL best practices.

Turn Around Time

The time for converting documents to iXBRL should not take more than 10-15 days. Keep that in mind when you evaluate options in the market.

iXBRL Training

See whether your solution or service provider offers training on iXBRL preparation and/or review, on the CIPC mandate, and on CIPC taxonomy, rules, and validations. This will give you more flexibility in moving parts of your iXBRL creation process in the house anytime you want.

Expert iXBRL Support Availability

A new regulation often needs more careful attention and implementation. Make sure the solution or service provider offers adequate support and expert assistance when you need it. Check if the service provider works in your timezone, and ask for the modes of contacting support — email, phone, or online chat. Make sure that you are adequately covered when you need help. Also, check if the service provider is going to charge you extra for any additional support hours.

Flexi Models

Does the service/platform have the flexibility to switch from an outsourced model to an in-house model if needed in the future? Does the service/platform allow for the flexibility of a blended solution – where the company can have greater or less control of the iXBRL creation process over time? Also, does the iXBRL solution also have any additional disclosure management modules to help streamline your overall annual report preparation process?

Future-proof solutions

Ensure the solution or service provider is abreast of technical know-how with regards to the CIPC iXBRL mandate, especially the ability to update the solution for newer versions of the CIPC taxonomy or validation rules quickly.

Keep this checklist handy as you evaluate iXBRL solutions and service providers, and you’ll be ensured of a simple, hassle-free iXBRL filing experience with the CIPC.

IRIS has helped thousands of clients in South Africa such as Nedbank, Bidvest, Allan Gray, Growthpoint Properties, Redefine Properties, and several other large, medium, and small-sized entities to comply with the iXBRL mandate using IRIS CARBON®, our flexible compliance reporting solution, and services.

IRIS is also CIPC’s trusted partner in iXBRL, and has implemented the solution for CIPC to receive and validate all iXBRL filings in South Africa.

To find out how we can meet the CIPC iXBRL mandate, email us today at

For a Free Demo of the IRIS CARBON® Solution.