Understanding the AFS Submission Requirements for Different Entities at CIPC

March 21, 2024by Team IRIS CARBON0


Navigating the Annual Financial Statements (AFS) submission requirements set by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) in South Africa can be daunting. Whether you’re operating a private company, a public entity, or a non-profit organization, understanding the nuances of these requirements is crucial for compliance. This guide aims to simplify the AFS submission process, highlighting key requirements for different entities. 

Private Companies 

  • Small to Medium-sized: Generally, private companies are required to submit AFS if their Public Interest Score is above a certain threshold. These AFS should be compiled by the Financial Reporting Standards as set by the CIPC. 
  • Auditing and Independent Review: Companies below a certain PIS may choose between being audited or having an independent review. The requirement escalates to mandatory auditing as the PIS increases. 

Public Companies 

  • Mandatory Auditing: Public companies are required to submit audited AFS without exception, due to their broader impact on the public and the economy. 
  • IFRS Compliance: These entities must prepare their AFS in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). 

State-owned Companies 

  • Similar to public companies, state-owned entities are required to submit audited AFS. The auditing standards and reporting frameworks may be specified by regulatory bodies overseeing state-owned enterprises. 

Non-profit Organizations 

  • Voluntary Submission: Non-profit organizations may be required to submit AFS depending on their funding and regulatory requirements, but this is not uniformly mandated by the CIPC. 
  • Auditing and Review: The need for auditing or review depends on the organisation’s constitution or the requirements of funding entities. 

Close Corporations 

  • PIS Application: Like private companies, close corporations are subject to the PIS for determining the need for AFS submission. 
  • Review or Audited Financials: Depending on their PIS, they might need their financials to be independently reviewed or audited. 

Submission Platforms and Formats 

XBRL Format- XBRL is a global standard for exchanging business information, enabling the automation of business reporting. This format allows data to be transferred directly from a company’s financial reporting system to the CIPC, ensuring that the data remains accurate, reliable, and easy to analyze. By adopting XBRL, entities can streamline their reporting processes, reduce the potential for human error, and enhance the comparability of financial statements. 

Benefits of XBRL 

  • Increased Accuracy: Automated data transfer reduces manual input errors. 
  • Efficiency in Reporting: Streamlines the submission process, saving time and resources. 
  • Improved Data Analysis: Facilitates easier access and analysis of financial data for stakeholders.

IXBRL Format- iXBRL is a more advanced format that integrates XBRL data directly into HTML documents, making financial reports both machine-readable and human-friendly. This means that while financial data can be easily processed by software, it can also be viewed as a traditional document by individuals. The adoption of iXBRL represents a significant step forward in financial reporting, providing a seamless bridge between the structured data required by regulatory bodies and the narrative reports produced by companies. 

Benefits of iXBRL 

  • Accessibility: Combines the readability of HTML documents with the data integrity of XBRL. 
  • Compliance and Transparency: Ensures accurate and transparent reporting, meeting regulatory requirements. 
  • Single Document Submission: Simplifies the process by allowing a single document to serve both analytical and compliance purposes. 

Submission Platforms 

The CIPC has established an online portal for the submission of AFS in XBRL and iXBRL formats. This portal is designed to facilitate a straightforward submission process, providing entities with a secure and efficient means of complying with reporting requirements. Through the portal, entities can upload their financial statements, verify the accuracy of the submission, and ensure they meet all regulatory requirements. 

Key Considerations 
  • Deadlines: Pay attention to submission deadlines to avoid penalties. These can vary annually or based on specific circumstances. 
  • Compliance: Ensure that the financial statements are compliant with the relevant financial reporting framework applicable to the entity. 
  • Public Interest Score Calculation: Understand how to calculate your entity’s PIS, as this significantly affects reporting requirements. 


Steps for Submission 

  • Prepare the AFS in the appropriate format (XBRL or iXBRL) using compliant software. 
  • Log in to the CIPC’s submission portal and navigate to the AFS submission section. 
  • Upload the AFS file and any required accompanying documentation. 
  • Confirm the submission and ensure you receive confirmation from the CIPC. 

Entities are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the submission platform in advance of their reporting deadlines to ensure a smooth and stress-free submission process. 


It is of the utmost importance for organizations operating inside South Africa to maintain compliance with the standards for AFS submissions set forth by the CIPC. It is possible to navigate these regulations in an easy manner if you have a thorough awareness of the specific demands of your company and if you embrace the technical tools that are accessible. Always remember that seeking the advice of an expert can bring clarity and help you avoid potential regulatory hazards when you are unsure of something. Explore the efficiency of iXBRL report creation through IRIS CARBON® and enhance your regulatory filings.

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