What are the criteria for companies to file AFS in iXBRL format with CIPC?

One question that most companies are facing since the launch of iXBRL reporting format is whether they are liable under the mandate or not. The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) had announced in July 2018 that all entities will have to submit their Annual Financial Statements (AFSs) in iXBRL. Due to the powerful analysis and regulatory efficiency that the iXBRL technology presents, this strategic decision was rolled out by the CIPC to advance the economy as a whole.


Financial information of entities registered with the CIPC can be submitted either in the form of AFSs in iXBRL format or Financial Accountability Supplements (FASs) through an online form. If you fall under the category of AFSs, then it has to be in the iXBRL format.

Broadly, the mandate lists the companies that fall in this category and have to submit their annual reports along with the AFSs, in iXBRL –

  • All public companies
  • Private companies which are currently submitting in PDF format
  • State-owned companies
  • Non-profit entities

As of now, co-operatives and trusts are not required to submit their AFSs via iXBRL whereas, closed corporations have to use iXBRL.

Determining whether your entity needs to comply via iXBRL

Other than those mentioned above, if your entity falls under any of these categories you have to comply and submit the financial statements in iXBRL –

  • If your entity has a Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) that explicitly states that their financial statements need to be audited
  • A private or personal liability company that has a Public Interest Score (PIS) of 350 or more has its AFSs compiled by an external independent party
  • A private or personal liability company that has a PIS of 100 or more has its AFSs compiled internally by the financial director of the company or the owner themselves
  • A private or personal liability company that voluntarily gets it’s AFSs audited internally or included audit as part of its MOI and its PIS is less than 100
  • A private or personal liability company that voluntarily gets its AFSs audited independently or included audit as part of its MOI and its PIS is between 100 and 349
  • A private or personal liability company if, in the ordinary course of its primary activities, it holds assets in a fiduciary capacity for persons who are not related to the company, and the aggregate value of such assets held at any time during the financial year exceeds R5 million

The PIS is based on social and corporate responsibilities of a company and can be calculated with certain pre-determined elements.

Final thoughts

Finally, entities who must submit audited AFSs have to do it in iXBRL. iXBRL is also available for those entities who wish to voluntarily audit their AFSs. They can choose to file FAS over AFS. Those who don’t fall under any of the above mentioned criteria, need to submit FAS along with their annual returns with CIPC.

For more information on the submission of annual financial statements in iXBRL format or conversion into iXBRL, do not hesitate to contact DataTracks at enquiry@datatracks.co.za or +27 10 446 9061, the certified and trusted software service provider in regulatory reporting and CIPC filing.

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