eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is the open international standard for digital business reporting that enables businesses to efficiently and accurately process and share their data. The XML-based language is widely used in more than 50 countries, including Singapore.
Companies in Singapore are required to file their financial statements in XBRL format with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The main reason is that XBRL filing allows for greater transparency as data can be sliced and diced almost immediately for analysis with software tools. The XBRL reporting system also enables ACRA to determine industry trends and better understand business in Singapore.
This article will help you understand XBRL financial statement requirements in 2021. Please, note that the information presented here is for general guidance only. Reach out to Biz Atom if you need professional advice or the assistance of an expert on financial statement filing.
XBRL filing applies to all Singapore incorporated companies except those that are specifically exempted. Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited partnership do not need to file financial statements with ACRA.
There are four templates that companies are required to use to meet revised filing requirements and data elements:
Full XBRL template
Simplified XBRL template
XBRL FSH (banks) template
XBRL FSH (insurance) template
Singapore incorporated companies in the business of banking, finance, and insurance regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are required to file either in XBRL FSH (banks) template or XBRL FSH (insurance) template together with PDF copies of their financial statements.
Solvent-exempt private companies are not obliged to file financial statements. However, they can file either in the XBRL format or PDF copies of their financial statements if they want to file voluntarily.
To give companies more transition time given the COVID-19 situation, ACRA postponed the following effective dates:
There three ways to prepare your company’s financial statements in the XBRL template and file them as part of your company’s annual profit:
You may apply for an exemption from filing financial statements in the XBRL template. Your exemption request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and no fee is charged for this service.
You can apply by filling out the exemption request form (you can download it from ACRA’s website) and sending it to ACRA. Remember to attach your company’s signed annual general meeting (AGM) financial statements and XBRL file as well.
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