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Filing Financial Statements in XBRL Format

What is XBRL?

XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, a language used in computers to present Financial Statements such that they can be retrieved from online records and transferred directly to users such as auditors, regulators, financial analysts for various purposes.

The Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) requires Singapore incorporated companies (unlimited or limited by shares) to file their Financial Statements (FS) in XBRL format with effect from 1 November 2007. And with effect date of 3 March 2014, the XBRL filing requirements was revised wherein the BizFinx system is to be used.

More information on XBRL can be found at http://www.xbrl.org.

Which businesses are exempt from XBRL filing?

The XBRL filing requirement does not apply to:

  1. Companies that are allowed, by law, to prepare accounts in accordance with Accounting Standards other than the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards or the International Financial Reporting Standards;
  2. Companies limited by guarantee;
  3. Foreign companies and their local branches;
  4. Banks, insurance companies, and finance companies whose activities are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Companies in the exempt category shall continue to file their Financial Statements by attaching a PDF copy of the FS as tabled at or used for the purposes of their Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Solvent Exempt Private Companies (EPCs) will continue to be exempted from filing their Financial Statements with ACRA. However, Insolvent EPCs and EPCs that are required by law to file their Financial Statements with ACRA will do so in XBRL format.

How would I know if my company needs to file its Financial Statement in XBRL Format?

Your company will file its FS in XBRL format only it meets the following 2 criteria:

  1. Your company is filing financial statements with period ending on or after 30 April 2007; and
  2. Your company is filing its Annual Returns on or after 1 November 2007.

Companies filing financial statements relating to financial periods ending before 30 April 2007 will continue to file their financial statements in PDF format.