What is XBRL?
XBRL is a form of reporting language adopted by ACRA to facilitate accurate financial statements reporting by companies that are required to be lodged accounts with the authority.
XBRL is open-source software that enables the organization and management of financial data for research and analysis. It also facilitates the communication of financial information online and among businesses with significant accuracy and reliability.
Preparing and Filing Financial Statements in XBRL Format
In Singapore, preparing a company’s financial statements is done at the end of its fiscal year. The financial statements must be filed in XBRL format during the filing of annual returns if your company either has a corporate shareholder for the financial year or its insolvent (has more total liabilities than total assets).
The directors of your company need to provide these financial statements as part of the AGM. According to the Financial Reporting Standards of Singapore, the accounts presented at the AGM must include:
- A Statement of Comprehensive Income;
- A Statement of Financial Position;
- A Cash Flow Statement; and
- A Statement of Changes in Equity.
The current XBRL system used for the translation of financial statements is BizFinx, an ACRA initiative to furnish companies with the preparatory tools for purpose of translation. The BizFinx preparation tool can be downloaded directly from the BizFinx website.
Options for XBRL Filing
XBRL Filing Requirements in Singapore
Beginning 1 November 2007, all Singapore incorporated companies, which are unlimited or limited by shares, are mandated to submit financial statements in XBRL format. Other companies that are permitted to file financial statements in PDF format include:
- Companies limited by guarantee and must table them at the AGM;
- Commercial banks, merchant banks, registered insurers and finance institutions as stated in the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Financial Institutions Directory;
- All companies permitted by law to prepare consistent with accounting standards excluding Singapore or International Financial Reporting Standards.
- Foreign companies and their local branches will also continue to file only their financial statements in PDF format to ACRA
The following table summarizes the above information with respect to the filing of financial statements in XBRL format and the corresponding types of companies.
Type of Company
Filing Financial Statement in XBRL Format
Public / Private companies (limited/unlimited by shares)
Full set of XBRL financial statements
Solvent exempt private companies (EPCs)
Exempted from filing financial statements, but can use the following options:
– Full set of XBRL financial statements or
– FSH (XBRL)
Insolvent exempt private companies (EPCs)
They can use either:
– Full set of XBRL financial statements; or
– FSH (XBRL) + PDF copy of financial statements
Options for Filing XBRL Financial Statements
Preparing and filing financial statements in XBRL can be done with two available options:
- Full XBRL
- Partial XBRL
Option 1 – Full XBRL
Your company can use full XBRL to prepare a full set of financial statements and file annual returns if you have hired a financial statement manager to carry out the process for tabling at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Option 2 – Partial XBRL
This option is suitable for companies who are filing Annual Return and preparing financial statements, but they must attach a PDF copy to the full set of financial statements as tabled at the AGM. For private companies that have withheld an AGM, the shareholders will be sent a copy of its full set of financial statements. This Option obliges a company to file at least the Statement of Comprehensive Income and the Statement of Financial Position, and information symbolized by a red asterisk in FS Manager.
A Summary of XBRL Filing Requirements
Statements for Financial Periods Beginning On or After 1 November 2007
Option 2 Full XBRL
Option 2 Partial XBRL
Statement by Directors
Independent Auditors’ Report
Statement of Comprehensive Income (and Income Statement, if the company has presented all items of income and expense in two statements)
Statement of Financial Position
Statement of Changes in Equity
Statement of Cash Flows
All Notes to the Financial Statements
Mandatory information symbolized by a red asterisk in FS Manager
* Applicable for companies not exempted from audit requirement
How we can help your business
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You will get a month’s worth of bookkeeping. Whether or not you continue with us, your reports for the month are yours to keep.