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Annual Filing of Financial Statements in XBRL Format

The new ACRA filing requirement which takes effect from 1 November 2007, requires a Singapore incorporated company, whether unlimited or limited by shares, to file its financial statements in XBRL format, using ACRA's "FS MANAGER", unless they fall under the excluded categories. The excluded categories are:

  • Banks, insurance companies and finance companies whose activities are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
  • Companies that are allowed by law to prepare accounts in accordance with accounting standard other than the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards and the International Financial Reporting Standards.
  • Solvent Exempt Private Limited Companies (EPCs) will continue to be exempted from filing their financial statements with ACRA.
  • Companies Limited By Guarantee and Foreign Companies and their local Singapore branches will not be required to file in XBRL.

Companies in the excluded categories shall continue to file its financial statements by attaching a pdf copy of the financial statements as tabled or used for purposes of its Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Insolvent Exempt Private Companies (EPCs) and EPCs that are required by law to file financial statements with ACRA will also do so in XBRL format.

ACRA believes that the use of XBRL will provide more value-added financial information of companies and improved transparency with timely dissemination of relevant financial information.

Financial Periods Affected

A Singapore company is not required by ACRA to file out-dated financial statements in XBRL format. A Singapore Company is required to file in XBRL format on or after 1 November 2007 only if the financial period concerned ends on or after 30 April 2007 and the company is filing its Annual Returns on or after 1 November 2007. The Singapore Company will only be required to file its financial statement in XBRL format if the above two criteria are met.

What is XBRL?

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. XBRL is a language used in computers to present financial statements such that they can be retrieved from online records and transferred directly to users such as auditors, regulators and financial analysts for various purposes.

Available Options for Filing in XBRL

With effect from 1 November 2007, a company, when filing its Annual Returns, will have a choice between the following 2 options:

  • Filing its full sets of financial statements in XBRL formation ("Option A"); or
  • Filing only its balance sheet and income statement in XBRL format ("Option B")

The arrangement under Option B is applicable from 1 November 2007 to 31 October 2008.

ACRA gives the 2 filing options so that users could get used to FS Manager. A company which chooses Option B will be required to file a PDF copy of its financial statements in addition to the balance sheet and income statement in XBRL format.

Correctness and Accuracy of Information

It is the responsibility of Directors of the companies to ensure the correctness and accuracy of financial statements in XBRL format filed with ACRA.

Directors are therefore advised to check the information to be filed before authorizing their company filers to submit the information to ACRA when filing the Annual Return.

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