XBRL was instituted since 2007 for incorporated companies in Singapore, except those exempted, to file their financial statements (FS) in XBRL format.

XBRL makes it possible for individual FS items that include net assets, revenue and overall profit to be specified and its information recorded mechanically. By so doing, it makes it possible for FS and other official financial statistics to be more effectively assessed. The result of this is that transparency becomes enhanced while allowing comparative analysis of financial status and performance of allied companies.

The newly proposed review of the XBRL is geared towards the streamlining of companies’ FS in XBRL filing format. One of the basic areas of emphasis is on how to lower the number of data elements needed for filing in XBRL format to a minimum. Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) has earlier proposed for ways to effectively align specific data elements with the necessary information that is accessible to companies with the use of certain accounting software. Once this is done, the time needed for preliminary preparation and filing of FS in the recognized XBRL format will be drastically reduced. One other major proposal being reviewed is on how to make data elements less cumbersome and to dwell only on specified data that are required by most of the companies in Singapore. This allows the public to conduct peer review which will help them in making better informed decisions through working with the information found in the ACRA.

Proposed Review of XBRL Filing Requirements

The steps stipulated in the proposed review of XBRL filing was not a unilateral decision by ACRA, but rather, involved a consultation with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds that included government agencies, companies, data service providers, corporate service providers, accounting software vendors etc.

On a general perspective, the vision that prompted the proposed review of the XBRL filing is based on the following:

  • Weeding out unnecessary data elements that are barely of any significant use to most data consumers.
  • Streamlining data elements for ‘micro’ companies to dwell only on information and statistics that are available on accounting software.
  • To make the XBRL data more valuable through ensuring that they are comparable more easily, via the emphasis on only data elements that fit in with most companies.

ACRA is working tirelessly towards fashioning out ways on how to include all the criteria needed by ‘micro’ companies in order to effectively file their data in the recommended XBRL template without much stress. This is being done through the inclusion of filing requirements into the accounting software that are being used by ‘micro’ companies. Once it takes effect, it will enable ‘micro’ companies to easily tap onto new industry technologies the moment they become available, thereby enhancing development and production.

The Existing XBRL Filing Requirements

Currently, all companies, local or foreign, that are incorporated in Singapore, are required to file and submit their FS to ACRA, with the exception of solvent exempt private companies (EPCs).

For those that are required to file FS, section 368 of the Companies Act exempts companies limited by guarantee as well as foreign companies registered in Singapore. ACRA XBRL Public Consultation companies are also exempted from filing their FS in XBRL format.

Generally, there are two main acceptable templates that can be used when filing FS in XBRL format, as stated below:

  • Full FS in XBRL: In this particular template, there are 410 data elements, including a text block that aggregates the entire set of FS.
  • Financial Statements Highlights (FSH) in XBRL format: These templates have a total of 60 data elements that aggregate selected line items in its elementary statements. In compliance with this, you are required to attach a PDF copy of the duly signed FS.

It is important to note that there are 3 main FSH that are recognized by ACRA:

  • FSH Banks
  • FSH General
  • FSH Insurance

FSH Banks and FSH Insurance are positioned to take care of the assets as well as liabilities as found within these industries.

What can OA Corporate Services do for you?

Doing business in Singapore requires compliance of several paperwork and statements. We understand that fulfilling these requirements can be complicated and may feel like going through an intricate labyrinth of forms and tables. Added to this is the complex nature of filing of FS in XBRL format, even after ACRA has tried to simplify the process.

We, at OA Corporate Services, can help you.

Working with us can help you save time and cost in accomplishing this highly sensitive business requirement. As we are composed of a team of qualified professionals, we provide you with a quality service such as critical mapping which involves matching information as contained in the financial statements with the taxonomy. We have a team of professional with deep understanding of accounting concepts and standards, as well as being well grounded in terms of Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS) in order to meet the requirements set by ACRA. Lastly, we assure of the prompt filing of your FS. This will not only does save your company a significant amount of time, it will also make sure that your FS complies with all the requirements as stated by ACRA.

This our commitment to you -- and one that we aim to deliver with promptness in delivery and efficiency in service.

We are here to work with you as your company grows. If you have any questions or clarifications on how we can work together, reach us at +65 6914 1111 or contact@oa-international.com.