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Intro to XBRL Financial Statements

Who Needs to File Financial Statements and in XBRL format?

Before we proceed with the question, let us understand first what is XBRL.

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. It is a language for the electronic communication of business and financial data worldwide. As one of the family of "XML" languages, it is becoming a standard means of communicating information between businesses and on the Internet.


XBRL is managed by an international non-profit consortium of over 600 companies, organisations and government agencies. It is an open standard, free of license fees. It is already being put to practical use in a number of countries and implementations of XBRL are growing rapidly around the world. (Source: http://www.xbrl.org/)


Providing major benefits in the analysis and communication of business information, XBRL offers cost savings, greater efficiency, and improved accuracy and reliability to all those involved in using financial data.


Now, who needs to file financial statements and in XBRL format?


Answer:

All Singapore (SG) incorporated companies are required to file financial statements (FS) with ACRA, except for those which are exempted.


Some companies will file a full set of FS in XBRL format, while some others will file key financial data in XBRL format and a full set of signed copy of the FS tabled at annual general meeting and/or circulated to members (AGM FS) in PDF.


If you own a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited partnership, you are not required to file FS with ACRA.


Revised XBRL filing requirements


ACRA has revised the filing requirements and data elements in XBRL format for companies. This is a part of our efforts to streamline the filing of FS. The effective implementation date for companies to file FS in XBRL using the revised filing requirements and data elements are as follows:

  • Companies are required to apply the revised filing requirements and data elements on or after 1 May 2021;

  • Companies can opt to voluntarily apply the revised filing requirements and data elements from 16 May 2020 to 30 April 2021 (both dates inclusive);

  • Companies that file their FS before 1 May 2021 can continue to prepare and file the FS using the current filing requirements and data elements.

There are four templates to be used by companies to meet the revised filing requirements and data elements:

  • Full XBRL template – The number of data elements for this template has been reduced by 50% to about 210 data elements. It will capture the information in primary statements and selected notes to FS;

  • Simplified XBRL template - This template, which replaces XBRL FSH (General), has about 120 data elements. It will capture the complete information in the statements of financial performance and position;

  • XBRL FSH (Banks) template – There is minimal change to this template. This template has about 80 data elements; and

  • XBRL FSH (Insurance) template – There is minimal change to this template. This template has about 80 data elements.

The table below summarises the revisions to the filing requirements and data elements:


Definition of smaller company


A smaller company mentioned in the table above refers to a company whose revenue and total assets for the current financial year do not exceed S$500,000and S$500,000, respectively. The assessment of revenue and total assets should be made based on the FS that are required to be prepared under the Companies Act.


When the company controls, jointly controls or has significant influence over other entities, its revenue and total assets should be assessed based on consolidated figures, unless the company is exempted by the accounting standards or by ACRA from preparing consolidated FS.


The amount thresholds of S$500,000 are to be determined based on the FS, regardless of the number of months in the financial year covered by the FS. For FS presented in foreign currency, revenue should be translated based on average rates over the financial year and total assets to be translated based on closing rate as of financial year-end.


Definition of non-publicly accountable company

A non-publicly accountable company mentioned in the table above refers to a company that is not: a. a company that is listed or is in the process of issuing debt or equity instruments for trading on a securities exchange in Singapore; b. a company whose securities are listed on an exchange outside Singapore; c. one of the following financial institutions:

  • entity that is part of the banking and payment systems (namely, licensed banks1, financial institutions approved under section 28 of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Chapter 186), operators of payment systems designated under section 42 of the Payment Services Act 2019 (Act 2 of 2019), settlement institutions of payment systems designated under section 42 of the Payment Services Act 2019, persons that have in force a standard payment institution licence granted under section 6 of the Payment Services Act 2019, persons that have in force a major payment institution licence granted or deemed to have been granted under section 6 of the Payment Services Act 2019 and licensed finance companies);

  • licensed insurer, foreign insurer under Lloyd’s Asia Scheme and registered insurance broker;

  • capital market infrastructure provider (namely, approved holding companies, approved exchanges, recognised market operators, approved clearing houses and recognised clearing houses under the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289));

  • capital markets intermediary (namely, holders of capital market services licence, licensed financial advisers, registered fund management companies, licensed trust companies and approved trustee for collective investment scheme);

  • licensed trade repository, authorised and exempt benchmark administrator under the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289);

  • operator of the Central Depository System under the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289);

  • trustee-manager of listed registered business trust;

  • designated financial holding company under the Financial Holding Companies Act2; and

  • licensed credit bureau under the Credit Bureau Act2.

1 “Licensed banks” should be read as “banks or merchant banks licensed under the Banking Act (Chapter 19)” when section 24 of the Banking (Amendment) Act 2020 relating to merchant banks come into force.” 2 Applicable once the Act commences.


Definition of solvent exempt private company


A private company can have not more than 50 members. An exempt private company can be a private company with less than 20 members, and does not have any corporations holding beneficial interest in its shares (whether directly or indirectly). An exempt private company can also be a private company owned by the Government that is declared in the Gazette to be an exempt private company.

  • An exempt private company is insolvent if it is unable to meet its debts when they are due. Insolvent EPCs are required to file FS as mentioned above.

  • Solvent EPCs only need to make an online declaration of their solvency, and filing FS is voluntary.


If you have any questions, or needs assistance in the preparation of XBRL, please feel free to contact us here at Expede Tech Pte Ltd. Our contact information can be found at the About Us section of our website.



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