Upcoming Change to Filing of Financial Statements in XBRL Format

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Last updated: March 28, 2020
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Most companies incorporated in Singapore have the requirement to file its financial statements (FS) in XBRL format with ACRA — unless exempted.

XBRL allows transactions and line items in the financial statements such as revenue, profit or loss, assets and others to be “tagged” by the software allowing the data to be machine readable.

In doing so, submitted financial information can be easily and conveniently analyzed, which improves transparency and comparability of financial performance, profitability and position across varying companies and industries.

What are the new revised XBRL filing requirements?

Gathering from feedback and proposed revisions attained through a public constitution spanning 2 months, from 30th November 2018 to 31st January 2019 — the revision brings nothing other than improvements.

  •  The revised XBRL filing requirements will cover data elements most commonly used by companies to allow more meaningful comparison and benchmarking.
  • The number of data elements that are needed to file with ACRA will be greatly reduced. Where data elements when filing Full XBRL will be reduced from 410 to about 210, almost a 50% reduction for Full XBRL; and just 120 for Simplified XBRL financial statements.
  • Allows for reduced preparation time to prepare and file the financial statements in XBRL.

What is the purpose for the XBRL new revision?

ACRA has gathered information from a public constitution, and the general consensus and proposals during the period were mainly to achieve the following:

  1. Reduce number of data elements required to be filed. Saving time in preparation and filing.
  2. Streamline, and focus data elements that are most commonly filed by companies, which enables the public to be able to conduct more meaningful peer and industry comparisons using the XBRL financial information filed with ACRA.

When will the new filing XBRL requirement be implemented?

It is currently projected to be implemented late Q3 of 2020. The effective date will only be announced during April 2020.

By late Q3 2020, all companies thereafter must file their financial statements in accordance with the revised XBRL filing requirements.

For companies that must file before the effective revised XBRL filing requirement date, they can do so based on the current XBRL filing requirements with the current BizFinx preparation tool (version 2.7). However, companies may also opt to voluntarily apply for the revised XBRL filing requirement from early May 2020.

BETA version of new BizFinz preparation tool

In preparation for the upcoming new XBRL filing requirement that would apply to all companies from late Q3 of 2020, a new BizFinx preparation tool (version 3) that is currently on BETA test is available. The version 3 tool allows Corporate Service Providers (CSP) and companies to familarize themselves with the upcoming revised XBRL filing requirements and data elements.

The tool is expected get out of BETA, and be live some time in April 2020.

ANNEXES

For new XBRL data elements after the revised XBRL filing requirement, click HERE.

For the complete proposed revisions, and ACRA’s responses during the public constitution held 30th November 2018 to 31st January 2019, click HERE.

Make sure your company is compliant

Your focus should be on your business. Appoint a registered company secretary to handle everything else.