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Filing Financial Statements in XBRL Format: A Comprehensive Guide

10 July 2024

Editor: ET


Since 1 November 2007, companies in Singapore required to file financial statements with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) must do so in the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format.

This shift towards XBRL enhances the accessibility and usability of financial data, promoting transparency and comparability across businesses.


What is XBRL?

XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is a globally accepted standard for digital business reporting. It enables the efficient and accurate preparation, exchange, and analysis of business information. By filing financial statements in XBRL, companies ensure that their financial data is more accessible and easier to analyze for stakeholders, including regulators, investors, and analysts.


Who Needs to File in XBRL Format?

Most companies incorporated in Singapore are required to file their financial statements in XBRL format. However, there are specific exemptions and requirements depending on the type and size of the company. To determine if your company needs to file financial statements in XBRL format, you can refer to the guidelines provided by ACRA on their website.


Steps to File Financial Statements in XBRL Format


Step 1: Prepare Your Financial Statements

Before you begin the filing process, ensure that your financial statements are complete and accurate. This includes preparing all necessary documents such as the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.


Step 2: Use BizFinx Preparation Tool

ACRA provides the BizFinx preparation tool, a free software that helps companies convert their financial data into XBRL format. Download and install the BizFinx preparation tool from the ACRA website.


Step 3: Enter Financial Data

Using the BizFinx preparation tool, input your company’s financial data into the relevant fields. The tool provides a step-by-step guide to ensure all required information is captured accurately.


Step 4: Validate Your XBRL File

Once you have entered all the necessary data, validate your XBRL file using the BizFinx tool. This step checks for errors and ensures that your file complies with the XBRL filing requirements set by ACRA.


Step 5: Submit Your XBRL File

After validation, log in to ACRA’s BizFile+ portal. Navigate to the section for filing financial statements and upload your validated XBRL file. Follow the instructions to complete the submission process.


Benefits of Filing in XBRL Format

  • Improved Data Accuracy: XBRL reduces the risk of errors in financial reporting by providing a standardized format.

  • Enhanced Transparency: Stakeholders can easily access and analyze financial data, promoting transparency.

  • Streamlined Reporting: XBRL facilitates efficient data collection and analysis, simplifying the reporting process.


Common Challenges and Tips

  • Data Entry: Ensure accurate data entry by cross-referencing with your original financial statements.

  • Technical Issues: Familiarize yourself with the BizFinx preparation tool and seek technical support if needed.

  • Compliance: Regularly review ACRA’s guidelines to ensure compliance with the latest filing requirements.

Filing financial statements in XBRL format is a mandatory requirement for most companies in Singapore. This standardized approach enhances the accuracy, transparency, and efficiency of financial reporting. By following the steps outlined in this guide, companies can navigate the XBRL filing process with ease.


For further assistance and expert advice on financial reporting, visit Expede.com.sg.

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