Filing Your Annual Financial Statements in the XBRL Format

  •   02 Apr, 2019  Posted By Thenvi Subin
  •  Posted in XBRL
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Filing your company’s annual financial statements in Singapore’s? Don’t let the term XBRL overwhelm you. We will make you acquainted with the filing process of annual financial statements the XBRL way in Singapore.

XBRL, an acronym for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, was implemented by Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) from November 01, 2007. XBRL filing helps entrepreneurs and business owners in filing their financial records online. Furthermore, it facilitates simplified and dynamic access to financial services. It also integrates the financial statements for rapid and enhanced research and analysis. The key thing to understand here is that XBRL is not a financial service but a form of reporting language.

Companies use a website called Bizfile, regulated by ACRA, to prepare, access and manage XBRL financial statements. The companies that are either limited or unlimited by shares need to file their financial statements in XBRL format. Furthermore, ACRA implemented revised filing requirements of XBRL to enhance and improve the quality of financial statements from December 2013. The revision includes expanding the taxonomy used in the Singapore XBRL filing.

However, the following companies are exempted from filing their financial statements in the XBRL way:

  • Companies limited by guarantee;
  • Foreign companies and their local branches;
  • Companies regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) – registered insurers, merchant banks, commercial banks, and finance companies;
  • Solvent exempt private limited companies whose revenue is less than S$5 million;
  • Companies that are allowed by law to prepare accounts according to accounting standards other than the International Financial Reporting Standards or the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards.

Steps to filing financial statements in XBRL format with ACRA    

There are two options available for filing financial statements for the applicants who wish to register a company in Singapore:

1)     Option A – Full XBRL

2)     Option B – Partial XBRL

Option A – Full XBRL Filing

If you have used the FS Manager (an online filing tool) to assemble your company’s complete set of financial statements for shelving at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), file the following documents for full XBRL financial reporting:

  • Balance sheet (Statement of Financial Position)
  • Income statement (Statement of Comprehensive Income)
  • Cash flow statement
  • Statement of Changes in Equity
  • All Notes to the Financial Statements
  • Director’s statements
  • Information indicated by a red asterisk (*) in FS Manager.

Option B- Partial XBRL Filing:

You can file a partial Annual Financial Report using a PDF copy of your company’s financial statements as tabled in the Annual General Meeting along with its annual returns. The documents are as follows:

  • Balance Sheet (Statement of Financial Position)
  • Income Statement (Statement of Comprehensive Income)
  • Information indicated by a red asterisk (*) in FS Manager

However, under the revised XBRL of 2013, the filing of Option-B (Partial XBRL) is no longer necessary.

By reducing the manual work, XBRL filing gives almost effortless access to financial data and makes the job easier for regulators, auditors, financial institutions, and financial analysts.