In virtually all the major financial cities across the world -- from New York to London or Singapore to Tokyo -- there are strong local laws guiding how companies transact their businesses in relation to their active compliance with the instituted laws. Generally, whenever such laws are flouted, whether by omission or commission; it usually attracts stiff punitive measures against the erring firms.

The Singapore Companies Act requires the full compliance of firms on this matter. Since November 1, 2007, its modified version required certain companies domiciled in Singapore to file their financial statements (FS) in XBRL. However, beginning from 3rd March 2014, it was revised again.

It was stipulated that companies incorporated in Singapore (limited or unlimited by shares) that were hitherto expected to file their firm’s FS with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), are now to do so in the XBRL format based on the minimum requirement list as stated in the ACRA Taxonomy. Filing of Option B, also known as Partial XBRL, which was previously a filing option in the old XBRL system, will no longer be available.

The following flowchart will guide you through whether your company needs to file for XBRL:
















Some of these changes has made it quite cumbersome for companies in Singapore to comply with the new requirements with ease. However, only a few firms have realized that using professional services firms to help them in filing their FS is the best way to go about it.

Why outsourcing third-party professional services firms is essential

Seeking for assistance through outsourcing firms can help your company accomplish this business requirement for various reasons as enumerated below.

  • Outsourcing firms will save you time and money

It will save you considerable time and money that will be better spent on other pressing matters rather than spending it trying to figure out how to go about XBRL filing. Company directors may find it difficult using the filing system, checking errors or doing the conversions. Since companies are advised to ensure that details provided by them in their FS are accurate before submitting to ACRA, it is a logically sound decision to seek the assistance of a professional services firm to carry out the job.

  • For an efficient job devoid of errors

XBRL filing has to do with critical mapping which involves matching information found in the FS with the Taxonomy. Such task will no doubt require professionals with in-depth knowledge of accounting concepts and standards as well as being knowledgeable about the workings of Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS). Thus, it would certainly be better for companies to delegate the task of XBRL filing to professional service firms.

  • Fast delivery

The difference between using the services of professional services firms for XBRL filing and in-house staff is that the latter may find it difficult to get around certain areas during the XBRL filing. Professional services firms, on the other hand, are seasoned professionals in XBRL filing. Coupled with their in-depth understanding of the system and its workings, they will be able to deliver the report in a much shorter duration.

For companies that are incorporated in Singapore, whether limited in shares or not, exempted private company (EPC), banks, insurance or finance company etc., hiring professional services firms for proper work will prove effective and efficient.

How would the proposed revisions to the existing XBRL filing affect companies?

Generally, the proposed revisions are geared towards making the system more efficient by streamlining the XBRL filing in the following areas:

  • Removing data and other elements that are not frequently used by consumers
  •  Enhancing the core value of XBRL data via comparative analysis of data elements as applicable to other companies
  • Streamlining data elements based on the information that can be picked from accounting software

Currently, local and foreign companies that are incorporated in Singapore are all expected to file their FS with ACRA accordingly. Only EPCs that are solvent are exempted from complying accordingly.

It is important to note that while professional services firms might know of these changes and how to get around them easily, staff working within individual firms may not be fully aware. As such, it adds credence on the need to hire professionals for proper and efficient filing of XBRL.

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