What is XBRL?
XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. It is an internationally recognised language used in computers for business reporting and electronic communication of business information between organisations.
With effect from 1 November 2007, Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) requires Singapore incorporated companies to file their financial statements in XBRL format. The use of XBRL will create a pro-enterprise financial reporting environment for businesses in Singapore, allowing financial information to be easily accessible and exchanged. It also enhances the accountability of businesses with increased transparency of business information.
In March 2020, ACRA announced the revision of filing requirements for Singapore incorporated companies. The revised XBRL filing requirements are expected to take effect in late Q3 2020. By late Q3 2020, all companies must file their financial statements in accordance with the revised XBRL filing requirement.
Who needs to file XBRL?
The following table provides a summary of the requirements for the filing of FS by all companies with ACRA.
|No.||Type of company1||Current FS filing requirements||Revised FS filing requirements following public consultation|
|1||SG companies that are not covered in Groups 2 to 5 below.||Must file FS in Full XBRL format.|| Must file FS in XBRL format, of which the extent of XBRL filing will vary based on the
company’s nature and size of operations:
|2||SG companies – insolvent exempt private companies (EPCs) that are insolvent|| Must file FS in XBRL format.
Can opt to file FS in either:
| Must file FS in XBRL format, of which the extent of XBRL filing will vary based on the
company’s nature and size of operations:
|3||SG companies - EPCs that are solvent|| Not required to file FS but can opt to voluntarily file either:
||Not required to file FS but can opt to voluntarily file either:
|4||SG companies that are banking, finance and insurance companies regulated by MAS2|| Must file FS in:
|| Must file FS in:
|5||SG companies preparing FS using accounting standards other than prescribed accounting standards in Singapore or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)||Must file FS in XBRL FSH (General) format, together with PDF copy of (AGM) FS.||Must file PDF copy of (AGM) FS only.|
|6||SG companies limited by guarantee||Must file PDF copy of (AGM) FS only.||Must file PDF copy of (AGM) FS only.|
|7||Foreign companies with SG branches||Must file PDF copy of (AGM) FS only.||Must file PDF copy of (AGM) FS only.|
Please take note that XBRL FSH (General) is no longer available under the revised XBRL filing requirements.
1The type of company excludes:
- Dormant relevant companies which are exempted from preparing and filing FS; and
- Gazetted (i.e. a private company that is wholly owned by the Government, which the Minister, in the national interest, declares by notification in the Gazette to be an exempt private company) and de-gazetted companies.
2For clarity, these refer to:
- Commercial banks (i.e. full banks, wholesale banks or offshore banks) licensed under and governed by the Banking Act (Cap. 19);
- Merchant banks approved under the MAS Act and their operations are governed by the Merchant Bank Directives;
- Finance companies licensed under and governed by the Finance Companies Act (Cap. 108); and
- Licensed insurance companies approved under section 8 of the Insurance Act (Cap. 142).
Definition of "micro" companies
A company is “micro” when both its revenue and total assets in the FS required to be prepared by the law are S$500,000 and below. When the company is a parent, its revenue and total assets should be assessed based on consolidated level figures, unless it is exempted by the accounting standards from preparing consolidated FS.
Where the FS are presented in foreign currency, please translate to Singapore Dollars (SGD) to check against the threshold for Simplified XBRL of S$500,000. For revenue, please use average rates over the financial year and for total assets, please use closing rate as of financial year-end.
Definition of "publicly accountable companies"
Publicly accountable companies are:
- Companies that are listed / in the process of issuing debt or equity instruments for trading on a securities exchange in Singapore;
- Companies the securities of which are listed on a securities exchange outside Singapore;
- One of the following types of financial institutions:
- entities that are part of the banking and payment systems (namely, licensed banks, financial institutions approved under section 28 of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act (Cap. 186), operators of designated payments systems, and licensed finance companies);
- licensed insurers, foreign insurers under the Lloyd’s Asia Scheme and registered insurance brokers;
- capital market infrastructure providers (namely, approved holding companies under the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289), approved exchanges, recognised market operators and approved and recognised clearing houses);
- capital markets intermediaries (namely, holders of capital market services licence, licensed financial advisers, registered fund management companies, licensed trust companies and approved trustee for collective investment scheme);
- designated financial holdings companies under the Financial Holding Companies Act;
- licensed trade repositories, authorised and exempt benchmark administrators and licensed credit bureaus;
- operator of the Central Depository System;
- settlement institutions of designated payment systems;
- holders of standard payment institution licence and major payment institution licence under the Payment Services Act 2019; and
- trustee-managers of listed business trusts.
How to file/upload XBRL file?
- Download BizFinx preparation tool for preparation of the XBRL report. Preparers will need to do mapping by matching data within the financial statements to an appropriate and compatible concept within the Taxonomy. BizFinx preparation tool is an offline software application provided free of charge by ACRA to help companies to prepare and manage their financial statements in XBRL format in accordance with the revised XBRL filing requirements and new ACRA Taxonomy.
- Once XBRL report is prepared, upload XBRL reports using upload feature from BizFinx preparation tool.
Why should I outsource the work of XBRL to a professional service provider?
The process of preparation and filing of XBRL reports can be tedious and time-consuming. By outsouring the preparation of financial statements to a professional service provider, companies can save time and focus more on the core business. Directors can also be assured that XBRL reports are prepared in compliance with the latest XBRL filing requirements.