XBRL Filing/ XBRL Conversion in Singapore

XBRL Filing/ XBRL Conversion


ACRA Announces Revised XBRL Filing Requirement and Releases New XBRL Preparation Tool for Companies


ACRA announced on 30 September 2013 that the revised XBRL filing requirements will be implemented from 2 December 2013. Replacing the online FS Manager will be a new offline tool, BizFinx, for preparing XBRL financial statements and the BizFinx Portal, for submitting the Annual Returns together with these financial statements.


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What do we need to prepare XBRL?

A soft copy of your full set financial statements


What is XBRL?

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, a language used in computers to present financial statements such that they can be retrieved from online records and transferred directly to users such as auditors, regulators and financial analysts for various purposes. More information on XBRL can be found at www.xbrl.org. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) implemented a new filing requirement for Singapore incorporated companies to file their financial statements (FS) in XBRL format as of 1 November 2007.


Why the need for XBRL?

Most companies currently file their FS in PDF format. ACRA believes that the use of XBRL will achieve the objectives of facilitating the conduct of business in Singapore, providing more value-added financial information and enhancing the regulatory environment with improved transparency and timely dissemination of relevant financial information.
XBRL enables source data to be tagged electronically, making the data machine-readable. Thus, the user’s system can automatically extract the information without the need for copy-pasting or keying-in. XBRL enables tagging of numbers, quantitative data and textual information. The benefits of XBRL go beyond compliance since any data collation process can be streamlined using electronic tags.


Who is responsible for the correct representation and accuracy of information?

Directors of the companies will continue to be responsible for the correctness and accuracy of FS in XBRL format filed with ACRA. They are therefore advised to check the information to be filed before authorizing their company or persons to submit the information on behalf of the company to ACRA.


Who is affected by the revised XBRL filing?

All Singapore incorporated companies (unless exempted below) which are either unlimited or limited by shares required to file their financial statements with ACRA will be required to file a full set of financial statements in XBRL format, according to a Minimum Requirement List within the new ACRA Taxonomy 2013 (i.e. Full XBRL). Filing of Option B (Partial XBRL), using FS Manager, will no longer be available.


Which businesses are excluded from XBRL filing/ XBRL Conversion?

The following types of companies are exempted from filing their full set of financial statements in XBRL format, and will file their financial statements in PDF with Financial Statements Highlights in XBRL format instead:

  1. Companies which are (1) Commercial Banks; (2) Merchant Banks; (3) Registered Insurers; and (4) Finance Companies, that are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore; and
  2. Companies allowed by law to prepare accounts in accordance with accounting standards other than SFRS, SFRS for Small Entities and IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards).

Solvent exempt private companies (EPCs) will continue to be exempted from filing their FS with ACRA.
Insolvent EPCs will have the following options to file their financial statements with ACRA:

  1. A full set of financial statements in XBRL format; or
  2. A full set of financial statements in PDF with Financial Statements Highlights in XBRL format.

Companies limited by guarantee will continue to file only their financial statements in PDF format to ACRA.
Foreign companies and their local branches will also continue to file only their financial statements in PDF format to ACRA.


Applicable financial periods

The revised XBRL filing requirements will be applicable for companies if they are filing financial statements with periods ending on or after 30 April 2007. Companies filing financial statements relating to financial periods ending before 30 April 2007 will continue to file their financial statements in PDF format and their financial highlights in respect of the financial statements in their Annual Return (AR).


What are the advantages of preparing the XBRL voluntary?

Free data analysis will be made available at ACRA’s new one-stop financials filing portal, BizFinx, which will commence operations when the revised filing requirements take effect in October. Company directors and officers can log into BizFinx Portal to generate the free analysis within 30 days after filing their AR form with a full set of financial statements in XBRL format. This analysis is only available once a year upon the filing of the AR by the company and companies can utilize these data to:

– Benchmark themselves against peers
– Compare their performance against competitors
– Gain a competitive edge with improved analytics
– Understand industry trends and make appropriate decisions
– Achieve cost savings within your company with better business insights and quicker and more accurate decision-making
– Compare, share and transmit data with related subsidiaries and different company divisions even if different accounting systems are being used.


How can I prepare?

You can either:

  • Free yourself of the hassle by engaging a professional firm like W.L.P Pte. Ltd. to assist you in the preparation
  • Do-it-yourself: download the tool at ACRA website, go through all the procedures and prepare the XBRL report yourself, OR

To facilitate DIY XBRL filing, ACRA has provided a free offline tool known as “BizFinx” to enable companies to prepare and manage their FS in XBRL.


Registered Office Service:

EVERY business/company must have a registered office in Singapore which must be operational and accessible to the public during normal office hours. Please note that a P.O. Box address cannot be used as a business address. If you do not have one, check out our Registered Office Service.

Corporate Secretarial Service: 

All Companies registered in Singapore must appoint a Company Secretary to handle Statutory Compliance matters. If you have not appointed an experienced Company Secretary, check out our Corporate Secretarial Service.

Accounting & Tax:

Need help to keep proper account records for your business, perform tax computations and submit your Personal Income Tax Filing to IRAS? WLP offers book-keeping and tax services for business owners to fulfill compliance to IRAS. Check out our Accounting & Tax Services.

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