|Extent of IFRS application||Status||Additional Information|
|IFRS Accounting Standards are required for domestic public companies||Required.|
|IFRS Accounting Standards are permitted but not required for domestic public companies|
|IFRS Accounting Standards are required or permitted for listings by foreign companies||IFRS Standards are required for some foreign companies: primary listing is in on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Home country GAAP or IFRS Standards are permitted if a company’s primary listing is outside South Africa, and its JSE listing is secondary.|
|The IFRS for SMEs Accounting Standard is required or permitted||Yes.|
|The IFRS for SMEs Accounting Standard is under consideration|
Profile last updated: 16 June 2016
South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
Financial Reporting Standards Council (FRSC)
SAICA is the national professional organisation of Chartered Accountants in South Africa. In 1973, SAICA, along with other relevant business bodies, formed the Accounting Practices Board (APB) to develop generally accepted accounting practices and issue Statements of Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (SA GAAP). SAICA established an Accounting Practices Committee to be the technical advisory body to the APB.
SAICA’s role as technical advisor to the national standard-setter, the APB, continued until late 2011, when – as a result of revisions to the Companies Act – a newly constituted governmental body known as the Financial Reporting Standards Council (FRSC) assumed responsibility as the advisor to the Minister of Trade & Industry on financial reporting standards. As a consequence of the establishment of the FRSC and changes to the Companies Act to refer directly to IFRS Standards and the IFRS for SMEs Standard as issued by the Board as the available reporting frameworks, the fundamental motivation for the APB’s existence fell away, including the need to endorse IFRS Standards as SA GAAP. Therefore SA GAAP was withdrawn for years commencing on or after 1 December 2012.
In 1995, the APB decided to harmonise SA GAAP with IFRS Standards. Since 2003, after due process, the APB has issued IFRS Standards as SA GAAP without amendment. From 2003 SA GAAP was used by all companies in South Africa; listed, unlisted, and private companies.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Listings Requirements required listed companies to use IFRS Standards (rather than the harmonised SA GAAP) effective 1 January 2005.
In 2011, the Government adopted new Companies Act Regulations under the Companies Act of 2008 that prescribe the reporting frameworks based on each individual company’s public interest score. Those Companies Act Regulations permit the use of either IFRS Standards, the IFRS for SMEs Standard, or SA GAAP in specific instances. However, because SA GAAP was identical to IFRS Standard, SA GAAP was withdrawn for years commencing on or after 1 December 2012.
The Companies Act Regulations, 2011 prescribe either IFRS Standards or IFRS for SMEs Standard depending on each individual company’s public interest score. The public interest score is based on points which are allocated to the number of employees, third party liabilities, turnover, and shareholders. A company can always choose IFRS Standards even if only required to use the IFRS for SMEs Standard.
All companies whose securities trade in public markets are required to use IFRS Standards. Some other companies whose equities are not publicly traded are required to use IFRS because they are not within the scope of the IFRS for SMEs Standard. Companies within the scope of the IFRS for SMEs Standard are permitted to use that standard or, alternatively, may choose full IFRS Standards. In addition, the South African Companies Act establishes a public interest point system, and those SMEs that have a public interest score under 100 points and whose financial statements are internally compiled can use their own accounting policies if they are not required to comply with any other financial reporting standards.
South Africa adopted the Exposure Draft on the IFRS for SMEs Standard for use by local companies when it was issued by the IASB in 2007, with the intention of providing immediate relief for limited interest companies under the then pending Corporate Laws Amendment Act of 2007. As a result of the early adoption of the standard in South Africa, SAICA was able to provide feedback to the IASB on the practical issues identified by local companies in implementing the standard. When IFRS for SMEs Standard was issued, this South African standard was withdrawn.
South Africa has also developed application guidance specifically designed to assist micro entities to apply IFRS for SMEs Standard.