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The Complete Guide to XBRL Filing in Singapore

The Complete Guide to XBRL Filing in Singapore

Singapore has been a pioneer in implementing XBRL for financial reporting. Since its adoption in 2007, the country has seen significant benefits and improvements in the overall financial reporting process.

The use of XBRL has allowed for easier and more efficient collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial data. The process also increases transparency and compliance with the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS).

Here is a comprehensive guide on XBRL filing in Singapore to help you understand the process and its benefits!

Get Expert Help With XBRL Filing

What is XBRL Filing?

XBRL is an open standard language used for organising and exchanging financial data between businesses and regulatory bodies. It enables companies to tag financial data in a standardised format, making it easier to analyse and compare across different companies and industries.

Is XBRL Filing Mandatory in Singapore?

In Singapore, using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) has become mandatory for companies filing financial statements with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), with some exceptions.

Who is Exempted From XBRL Filing?

Companies must meet the conditions listed in Section 201A of the Companies Act and the requirements to be a dormant company to qualify for exemption. It is advised to clarify and confirm whether a company meets the exemption criteria to avoid non-compliance penalties.

What Are the Benefits of XBRL Filing?

  • Efficient and accurate financial reporting: With XBRL, companies can reduce the time and effort spent on manual data entry and ensure more accurate financial reporting.
  • Cost-effective: Filing in XBRL format eliminates the need for printing and manual submission of financial statements, resulting in cost savings for both companies and regulators.
  • Enhanced transparency: XBRL facilitates easier access to financial data by standardizing the format, making it more transparent and comparable.
  • Improved decision-making: For investors and analysts, XBRL provides a structured and consistent format for analyzing financial data, leading to better-informed investment decisions.

How to File XBRL in Singapore

There are two primary ways of filing your company’s financial statements in XBRL format as part of its annual return:

  1. Using the BizFinx tool and file via the BizFile+ portal
  2. Using accounting software to prepare and file your annual return with simplified XBRL FS to ACRA

Alternatively, you can also engage a corporate services provider such as InCorp to help you file.

What Are the XBRL Filing Requirements?

ACRA has implemented the revised XBRL filing requirements and data elements for businesses to streamline the filing of financial statements, which have been in force since 1 May 2021.

There are four templates that companies can use to meet the revised requirements and data elements:

  1. Full XBRL template (210 data elements)
  2. Simplified XBRL template (120 data elements)
  3. XBRL FSH (Banks) template (80 data elements)
  4. XBRL FSH (Insurance) template (80 data elements)

Note that XBRL FSH refers to the financial statement highlights where a company only needs to present key account details in XBRL as opposed to the full set.

Here is a table that shows the new requirements:

Group Companies Filing FS Made Public Updated Requirements wef 1 May 2021
1 Companies incorporated in Singapore not covered in Groups 2-5 To file XBRL in full format

The extent of filing depends on the company size and nature of operations:

  • Smaller (revenue and total assets for current FY not exceeding S$500,000) and non-publicly accountable companies (non-listed, whether locally or overseas, nor one of the financial institutions as decreed by ACRA) to file in Simplified XBRL template, with a PDF copy of FS authorised by directors
  • All others to file FS in full XBRL template
2 Insolvent exempt-private companies (EPCs) incorporated in Singapore  To file XBRL in XBRL format, with the extent depending on the company size and nature of operations:

  • Smaller and non-publicly accountable companies to file in Simplified XBRL template, with a PDF copy of FS authorised by directors
  • All others to file FS in full XBRL template
3 Solvent EPCs incorporated in Singapore Not required to file FS

If the company opts to voluntarily file FS in XBRL format, the extent of XBRL filing depends on the same criteria as Group 1 and 2

4 Companies incorporated in Singapore in the business of banking, finance, and insurance regulated by MAS To file FS in either:

  1. XBRL FSH (Banks) template
  2. XBRL FSH (Insurance) template;

together with a PDF copy of FS authorised by directors

5 Companies incorporated in Singapore preparing FS with accounting standards apart from prescribed accounting standards in Singapore or IFRS To file only the PDF copy of the FS authorised by company directors
6 Companies limited by guarantee incorporated in Singapore To file only the PDF copy of the FS authorised by company directors
7 Foreign companies with branches in Singapore To file only the PDF copy of the FS authorised by company directors

What is the XBRL Filing Deadline?

The deadline for XBRL filing in Singapore differs based on the company’s classification. Listed companies must file within five months, whereas non-listed companies have a seven-month deadline.

What is the Penalty for Late XBRL Filing?

As per ACRA, non-compliance, which includes late filing of financial statements in XBRL may incur penalties under Section 197 of the Singapore Companies Act. This may be late filing fees ranging from S$300 to S$500, depending on the severity of the breach.

Companies and directors convicted of three or more filing offences within five years may also be disqualified from directorship.

What Are Some Common XBRL Filing Mistakes to Avoid?

Here are some of the most frequently made mistakes when companies file their financial statements in XBRL format:

  • Incomplete XBRL data
  • Inaccurate mapping to XBRL financial statements
  • Annual general meeting (AGM) statements do not match text block data in XBRL format
  • The data in XBRL financial statements do not match AGM financial statements

Outsource to InCorp to Help With Your XBRL Filing

Comprehension and adherence to XBRL filing obligations in Singapore are imperative for companies to ensure precise and transparent reporting.

Outsourcing XBRL filing to a third-party provider such as InCorp can relieve foreign companies of the XBRL filing responsibility, adhering to Singapore’s regulatory standards. It can also help local companies that lack the manpower and expertise in filing to reduce the risk of incurring financial penalties.

Contact us to find out how we can help your company today!

FAQs on XBRL Filing in Singapore

  • The fees charged depend on your specific needs. Contact our friendly tax team to find out more!
  • Since November 1, 2007, nearly all incorporated companies in Singapore have been required to submit their financial statements in XBRL format to ACRA, with only a few exceptions.
  • Listed companies must file in XBRL format within five months, while non-listed companies have a seven-month deadline.

Engage Us

Need help with XBRL filing in Singapore? Our professional accounting team at InCorp can help you. Find out how!

About the Author

Yang Wen

Yang Wen has an impressive background with more than a decade of expertise in accounting, advisory, and a suite of corporate services including financial due diligence and advisory on the FRS. He is a distinguished member of the ISCA and holds the esteemed title of fellow member at the ACCA in the UK. He manages a team of professional accountants and excels as a Xero-certified advisor, specialising in initial setup consultancy, implementation, and software data migration, bringing unparalleled proficiency and guidance to his clients.

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