Since the introduction of the Companies Act 71 in 2008 (“the Companies Act”), compliance remains a cumbersome and costly process for most business owners. With little to no enforcement on the matter, business owners and professionals continue to overlook company record keeping until absolutely critical. On 13 August 2019, however, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (“the CIPC”) issued Notice 52 of 2019, which advised that all companies would have to declare their compliance status to specific sections of the Companies Act. After an outcry from the business community, the mandatory checklist was rolled back for SMEs and is now only required by independently reviewed and audited companies.
Albeit a welcome lift from rigorous compliance for small businesses, it is clear that the CIPC is starting to clamp down on opportunities to circumvent compliance. The severity of the penalties of non-compliance range from a fine of up to 10% of overall revenue to “jail-time” for directors. This means that businesses can no longer afford to wait to get their records up to date despite service and software fees.
Josh Alexandre, founder and CEO of InfoDocs, saw an opportunity to help ease the load of compliance for registered companies in South Africa by automating company secretarial requirements. After teaching himself the basics of the Companies Act, he founded InfoDocs in 2017 in Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape. Over the course of the next three years, he and a small team of developers built a platform with the objective to become the “Xero of company secretarial”.
InfoDocs has grown significantly over the past year. The software now boasts over 3,000 companies who use InfoDocs to maintain, draft and compile their company records on the cloud-based platform. InfoDocs’ clients include established firms such as BVSA, Iridium Business Solutions, Outsourced CFO, and Creative CFO. Their partners include Legalese – who helped draft their resolutions – and Intergreatme, who provide verified IDs through their integration with the Department of Home Affairs.
InfoDocs’ integration with the CIPC places them in a league of their own, allowing users to perform a growing number of the CIPC transactions directly from the platform. This includes filing annual returns, making director changes, financial year changes and more. Automation of drafting is one of their key features, reducing the time and risk of manual input significantly.
Existing data from the CIPC is automatically imported and pulled through to populate all input fields on required resolutions.
The software does not stop there. It also features a number of helpful resources such as B-BBEE level calculation (complete with free B-BBEE certificates), public interest (“PI”) score calculations and a simple, accessible, question-based version of the CIPC compliance checklist.
InfoDocs makes reporting and capturing of shareholding records simple and straightforward for both small and large entities. The software supports a comprehensive list of share transactions and share class options and provides industry-approved resolutions and detailed registers.
The application is designed to reduce complexity for both the business owner and professional. The Companies Act is embedded in each transaction and supporting document, reducing administrative time for company secretarial significantly. The software’s variety of third-party access options aids in collaboration, visibility and access to company records. Records can be created and maintained in the cloud and shared to either view or edit from a browser anywhere, at any time.
InfoDocs strives for accuracy, efficiency and transparency in every aspect of company secretarial, saving both professionals and business owners hours of time and money.
Click here to find out more about InfoDocs and sign up for a free trial today.