The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) has recently amended their XBRL filing requirements and data elements, effective as of 1 January 2021. The XBRL preparation process and filing may seem a bit too complicated, but in reality, they serve as a function to streamline the financial statements tracking for ease of data analysis in Singapore. Let us go through below for a simple, compact guide dedicated to XBRL Filing first-timers!
First of all, is this applicable to my Singapore company?
We understand that filing your Financial Statements can be daunting. Singapore Corporate Services (SCS) wishes to simplify the thinking for you as much as possible. Thus, just answer the questions below to see if your company needs to file XBRL reports!
- Does your Singapore company have any corporate shareholders AND your Singapore company is an active company (i.e. not qualified to be a dormant company)?
- Is your Singapore company’s net asset a negative net asset number (i.e. insolvent) AND your directors’ report (as part of the annual report) has stated that the business running is not a going concern (i.e. not able to pay all debts when fall due)?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, your company is required to file XBRL Reports.
If this is your first-time filing, fear not! Continue reading to see what the XBRL Reports really comprise of!
What is XBRL?
XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, which is an international standard for digital business reporting. To put it simply, this is an Excel file type (generated from XBRL software) that the ACRA approves as a format for financial statements.
When do I need to file my XBRL reports?
You must first understand the timing of your financial period. A typical financial period will run from the 1st January to the 31st December of a year. However, financial periods can vary according to your company and industry.
Within the six months from the last date of your financial period, you must hold a physical Annual General Meeting (AGM) or have AGM resolutions and minutes in writing (no physical meeting is organized). The company directors must approve the relevant AGM documents and financial statements.
The seventh month from the last date of your financial period is the time for your company secretary to file the XBRL Financial Reports (as part of the annual return filing with ACRA, the Companies Registry body in Singapore)
To give you a better picture, here’s an example:
Company ABC Pte. Ltd.'s Financial Year ended on 31st December 2019.
Before 30 June 2020, Company ABC must:
- Hold an Annual General Meeting
- Have its directors to authorise and approve the financial statements (either audited or un-audited)
Before 31 July 2020, Company ABC must:
- Lodge the XBRL Financial Reports with ACRA as part of the Annual Return
What happens if I’m late on holding my AGM and/or filing XBRL Reports?
Under the Companies Act, the directors of an incorporated company are accountable for the delay in all statutory obligations. We’ve compiled a simplified version of the late penalty fees for you.
- AGM is held late: Penalty amount of S$300 (Section 175)
- Annual Return is lodged late (XBRL documents are part of the annual return): Penalty amount of S$300 (Section 197)
Other than the above penalty amounts, the company directors will also receive ACRA’s selectively prosecution notice or summon letter if the AGM and annual return filing are severely delayed (usually for more than 2 years). The penalty is usually non-negotiable and can go up to few thousands Singapore dollars.
For more comprehensive information regarding penalty for delay and other types of breach, please refer to the ACRA website (here).
To address the elephant in the room: How do I file for my XBRL Financial Reports?
ACRA has recently updated their BizFinx free-of-charge software that allows companies to manually file their financial statements in XBRL. You can view its completed guide here.
Alternatively, you may source for an authorized professional services firm with specialized experience in XBRL Filing. All you need to provide is your full set of financial statements and the rest is our responsibility!
Is outsourcing for XBRL Filing a better choice?
Yes, from the 3 simple reasons below.
- Time is money
We understand that not all companies can dedicate the time to research thoroughly and gain an in-depth comprehension of what XBRL filing is about. After all, time is money and you can be using that time to further develop your company strategies and facilitate its activities.
- Mistakes cost money
Having an inexperienced employee to prepare XBRL documents to be sent to the Singapore government can be a dangerous investment. Mistakes in your XBRL reports can incur re-filing fees payable to the Companies Registry. Moreover, the law constrains your company to hard-set, strict deadlines. Deviation from the legal timeline will greatly harm you.
- Small fees bring about large sum of money
Outsourcing is the simplest way to generate revenue in the long-term, especially when you are a startup or SME. XBRL Filing requires a steep learning curve and high expertise that simply are not worth the time nor the danger. Leave the tedious tasks to the experts in the field, while you focus on the betterment of your company!
We here at Singapore Corporate Services hope to provide you the best and efficient process so you can focus on much more important matters. With decades of experience in XBRL filing and our highly trained fleet of employees, you can depend on us to execute your XBRL and corporate services matters professionally and seamlessly.
Do contact us today at +65 8862 1113 via WhatsApp or firstname.lastname@example.org via email for a free consultation and the best quoted price for your company. Just focus on growing your company; We’ll handle the rest.