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XBRL and the JSE

The JSE Limited has recognised the benefits of XBRL as a language for communicating financial information to the markets, since 2005. 

The JSE has established an E-Filing platform, using XBRL, for listed companies to submit their financial statements. This digital reporting platform will be voluntary and complementary to existing financial reporting. 

This is part of the JSE’s efforts to continually innovate, encourage greater market transparency and improve efficiencies in the preparation and communication of financial information. 

For listed companies the JSE believes that XBRL has the potential to cut hours of waste and inefficiency for the companies that prepare it well. Once data is gathered in XBRL, different types of reports using varying subsets of the data can be produced with minimum effort. 

A company finance division, for example, could quickly and reliably generate internal management reports, financial statements for publication, tax and other regulatory filings, as well as credit reports for lenders. 

The introduction of this portal will allow for faster, simpler access to company information for both investors and analysts.

The International Landscape 

Internationally, XBRL is becoming a universal standard, not just a fad. The adoption of XBRL is driven by the investor demand for greater transparency, accuracy and accessibility as well as pressure from regulators. Many stock exchanges throughout the world, including the JSE, are actively promoting XBRL use, as well as providing online XBRL reporting portals. 

Some examples: 

US – SEC mandate for all registrants 
UK – HMRC mandate for tax filings 
AUS – Government wide reporting 
EU – Basel II reporting 
INDIA – IFRS reporting mandate from 2011

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