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XBRL Filing in Singapore

XBRL Filing in Singapore

Companies in Singapore must comply with various requirements. Among these, they must file several documents in a specific format with the Inland Revenue Authority. Below, you can read about the XBRL filing requirements in Singapore.

If you need accounting services in Singapore, our specialists are at your disposal with tailored support, no matter the size of your company.

What is XBRL?

XBRL is a framework used for organizing and defining financial data. XBRL filing in Singapore became mandatory for companies, as directed by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

Our team of accountants in Singapore is able to assist all companies with the reparation of their XBRL financial statements, according to the provisions in force.

 Quick Facts  
Regulatory Authority  The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is the body providing for XBRL filing in Singapore 

 Types of companies required to use the XBRL format

– Financial companies

– insurance entities

– and banks in Singapore 

Exemptions from using the XBRL format 

 YES, exempt private companies with revenue below SGD 5 million, companies limited by guarantee, sole traders, partnerships

 XBRL filing required for foreign companies (YES/NO) YES, foreign companies must file financial statements in XBRL format 
 Specific laws to consider (YES/NO)

 The Singapore Financial Reporting Standards and the Standards for Small Entities

Availability of multiple formats 

 YES, there are several forms of the template using the  XBRL format:

– the FSH template that comes in 2 forms

– the full and the simplified template

ACRA account opening requirement (YES/NO) 

 YES, companies must set up accounts with ACRA in order to file income statements in the XBRL format in Singapore

 Filing deadlines

Financial statements in this format must be filed by November 30th 

 Possibility to file income statement in XBRL format (YES/NO)

 YES, the XBRL format can be used to submit income statements

Possibility to file statutory reports in XBRL format (YES/NO)   YES, statutory reports can be filed through the XBRL format
Possibility to file directors’ reports in XBRL format (YES/NO) 

YES, directors’ reports can be filed in XBRL format in Singapore 

 Possibility to file auditor’s report in XBRL format (YES/NO)

 YES, the format can be used to submit auditors’ reports

 XBRL conversion support (YES/NO)

YES, our accounting firm in Singapore can help with the conversion of PDF documents into the XBRL format 

 XBRL statement filing services (YES/NO)

 YES, we offer XBRL statement filing services

 Other services available (YES/NO) We offer audit, payroll, and accounting services in Singapore 
 When must financial data in this format be filed?  After the end of the financial year.

 Timeframe for listed companies to file financial information in XBRL format

 No later than 5 months from the end of the financial year.

 Timeframe for non-listed companies to file financial information in XBRL format

 No later than 7 months from the end of the financial year.

 What happens to companies failing to respect filing deadlines?  ACRA imposes penalties on companies failing to comply with their XBRL filing requirements.
 Possibility to submit cashflow statements in the XBRL format (YES/NO)

 Yes, such statements can be filed by all non-exempt companies.

 Availability of the XBRL format for notes on revenue (YES/NO)

Yes. 

 Possibility to file employee benefits information using this format (YES/NO)

 Yes, this format can also be used for filing employment-related forms.

 Option to use this format to file statements related to the changes in the share capital (YES/NO)

Yes. 

 Possibility to use the XBRL format for balance sheet filings (YES/NO)

Yes, this is one of the main uses of this format. 

 Requirement to use dedicated software to generate data in this format (YES/NO) Yes, and our accounting firm in Singapore can help with such software. 
 Common mistakes when filing XBRL financial data

– incomplete data,

– erroneous mapping,

– contradictions between the information on the financial statements and in the XBRL documents. 

 Possibility to correct errors (YES/NO)

 Yes, by filing a Notice of Error (NOE) with ACRA, or by re-filing the document.

 Requirement for dormant companies to use the XBRL format (YES/NO)

 No, such companies are not required to use this format.

 Conditions to apply for XBRL filing exemptions

 Each application is reviewed by ACRA, so exemptions are granted on a case-to-case basis.

 Why use our accounting services for filing financial statements using this format?

– less workload,

– cost-effectiveness,

– lower expenses.

What are the conditions for observing the XBRL format in Singapore?

Companies in Singapore need to observe the rules for the preparation and the filing of their financial statements and the currently accepted format is in XBRL, a type of extensive markup language used for exchanging business information. It is based on tagging the financial data items, making it easier to identify and classify the items overall.

The team at our accounting firm in Singapore can help you submit the needed financial statements in XBRL format.

You can also rely on us for a statutory audit in Singapore. Operational audits in Singapore, also known as program or performance audits, look at how resources are used by the unit to determine whether those resources are being used in the most effective and efficient ways possible to achieve the unit’s goals. A compliance and a financial audit are all included in an operational audit.

What companies must file the XBRL financial statements?

Not all companies are required to file the complete financial statements in XBRL format. Those that are exempted include the following:

  • Commercial and merchant banks;
  • Registered insurers in Singapore;
  • Financial companies.

One of our accountants in Singapore can give you more details about the types of financial companies that qualify. When performing an XBRL conversion, special attention must be awarded to the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards and the Standards for Small Entities.

Financial statement filing requirements and the XBRL format for Singapore companies

Filing financial statements is a mandatory requirement for all companies in Singapore, including for foreign enterprises operating through subsidiaries and branch offices. There are also a few exceptions to this rule, and it applies to sole traders and partnerships. These are not required to file financial statements with ACRA.

Other companies are required to file their financial statements in the XBRL format, while others must submit simplified financial statements in this format. If you have a company in the city-state and need to find out how you must file these papers, you can use our accounting services in Singapore for the correct procedure.

The following steps must be completed for filing financial statements in the XBRL format in Singapore:

  1. set up a BizFin account with ACRA;
  2. draft the financial statements in accordance with the Company Law’s provisions and accounting standards;
  3. generate the XBRL template where the financial statements will be uploaded;
  4. upload the XBRL filings in accordance with the deadlines prescribed by ACRA.

In Singapore, XBRL filings can be submitted in 4 templates:

  • the full template which has around 210 elements and gathers information from the statements and relevant notes attached to the statements;
  • the simplified template which has approximately 120 elements and will gather the entire information comprised in the financial statements;
  • the FSH template which has around 80 elements and must be filed by banks;
  • the FSH template for insurance companies that resembles that of banks and also has approximately 80 elements.

We remind that banks, insurance and reinsurance companies fall under the supervision of the Monetary Authority in Singapore, therefore they also need to respect its specific requirements.

Starting with May 2021, companies are required to file financial statements in accordance with a reviewed XBRL filing system under the new templates.

Should you need assistance in drafting and filing financial statements, do not hesitate to ask for complete support from our accounting firm in Singapore.

Every company that employs people has a payroll procedure in place for its employees. In contrast to doing the task internally or contracting a bookkeeper, many businesses today opt to work with a payroll company in Singapore in order to make the process easier and more comfortable, but also cheaper.

Here is also an infographic on XBRL filings:

Information contained by financial statements filed in XBRL format

Even if simplified templates are available, certain elements of the XBRL filings must be completed by all types of companies, among which:

  • statutory reports made of the directors’ statement and auditors’ report;
  • the income statement, the cashflow statement, and the financial position statement;
  • disclosure notes on the share capital, revenue, certain employment information, expenses, etc.

If you want to open a business in the city-state, we recommend using our accounting services from the beginning for a quick setup of the accounting system. We also offer payroll services in Singapore, so do not hesitate to enquire about how we can support your company.

Exceptions from XBRL filings in Singapore

Not all companies are required to use the XBRL filing system in Singapore. There are also a few exceptions, and they include:

  • exempt private companies with revenues of less than 5 million SGD;
  • companies limited by guarantee;
  • Singapore branch offices of foreign companies.

These are required to file their financial statements in PDF format. Our specialists are at your service with detailed information on the rules that apply to branches of foreign companies in Singapore.

We remind business owners that financial statements must be filed by th3 30th of November of the current year for the past one. If you need support in drafting and filing them, you can rely on our Singapore accountants and auditors for a full set of services. We offer tailored packages for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as for large companies that must meet more stringent requirements.

XBRL conversion requirements

Financial statements filed by Singapore companies need to be converted to the XBRL format, case in which the accounting department is required to use the tag libraries recommended by ACRA to transfer the data.  The accountant must also follow Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS) and SFRS for Small Entities where applicable in order to ensure compliance.

You could need to outsource XBRL translation to service providers or hire an accounting firm in Singapore if you choose to finish it in-house because it requires a thorough understanding of accounting concepts and tag libraries. This is where our specialists can help with tailored solutions.

Our company is at your service with various services, including those related to payroll in Singapore.

Submitting XBRL filings with ACRA and the IRAS in Singapore

If a company satisfies the requirements listed below, it may use ACRA’s accounting software to submit its annual return and financial statements in simplified XBRL format:

  • the company’s revenue for the current fiscal year is S$500,000 or less;
  • the company’s total assets at the end of the current fiscal year are S$500,000 or less; and
  • the company is not listed on a Singapore stock exchange or is in the process of listing its debt or equity instruments there;
  • it is listed on a securities exchange outside of Singapore;
  • or it is a financial institution.

If a business satisfies the requirements listed below, it may submit tax returns to IRAS using its accounting software:

  • it is eligible to file Form C-S;
  • it has annual revenues of SGD5 million or less;
  • its income is subject to the current corporate tax rate of 17%;
  • it does not claim or use carry-back of current year capital allowances or losses, group relief, investment allowance, foreign tax credit, or tax deducted at source.

In addition to not being an investment holding company or a service provider that solely offers services to connected parties, the company maintains the Singapore dollar as its currency, and has no subsidiaries, associates, or joint ventures.

Please mind that financial statements must also be audited, a case in which we are at your disposal with audits in Singapore.

Error correction in XBRL filings in Singapore

It is not uncommon for errors in numbers to occur, however, considering XBRL has an electronic format, you will need to consider how to address the respective mistakes. From this point of view, you have two options if an error in previously submitted XBRL files is found:

  • to submit a Notice of Error (NOE) to ACRA which must be filed before the inaccuracies are determined to be false or misleading and the business is subject to fines;
  • to submit a court order asking the court to allow the annual return to be deleted and replaced.

If you want to avoid or correct such errors, we recommend you use our accounting services in Singapore.

Why use the XBRL format in Singapore?

Using the XBRL format has several advantages in addition, among which:

  • the format makes it simpler for computers to create financial reports for Singapore businesses;
  • because XBRL filing uses a tags system, it lowers paperwork and makes it easier to store and retrieve financial data;
  • Singapore XBRL filing enables the development of a database relevant to the Singapore market;
  • financial analysts can retrieve and analyze data to find trends and predict upcoming economic events;
  • it makes it simpler for the authorities to process financial data from companies and make the proper regulatory choices;
  • the system supports several world currencies, formats, and languages.

We remind you that we are at your disposal with various bookkeeping and accounting services in the city-state.

Here is also a video on the XBRL format:

How can an accountant help my Singapore company?

You can always reach out to us for complete accounting services in Singapore, including XBRL filing and two types of XBRL conversion for companies. Among these, the preparation and conversion of financial statements highlight that of the full list of financial statements.

For complete details about the XBRL format requirements and other general rules about the mandatory financial statements for companies, please do not hesitate to contact our accounting firm in Singapore.