What is XBRL
XBRL, abbreviation for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is an XML-based language for tagging financial data that enables business to efficiently process and share their data. XBRL allows the presentation of financial information in a computer readable format. This is achieved by tagging each piece of financial information with a label that identifies it in terms of standard accounting or tax concepts.
Why you should file financial statements in XBRL with ACRA
The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (“ACRA”), the national regulator of business entities and public accountants in Singapore introduced XBRL in 2007 for corporate financial reporting. Thereafter, after extensive consultation with all stake holders, implemented the revised XBRL filing in October 2013 to improve the quality of financial statements, enable greater transparency and comparability of financial information being released.
Who should submit financial statements in XBRL
ACRA mandates all Singapore incorporated companies to file their financial statements in XBRL format except those companies that are specifically exempted.Depending on the classification of business entities, the mandated business entity may have to submit,
- Full set of financial statements in XBRL format (or)
- Only Financial Statements Highlights (FSH) in XBRL format, plus PDF copy of the financial statements.
What are the XBRL filing requirements
The financial statements should include statement of financial position (balance sheet), statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income, statement of changes in equity, statement of cash flows and Notes comprising of a summary of accounting policies and other explanatory information.
As a concession to ease the introduction of XBRL, ACRA has allowed that companies submitting their financial statements in XBRL can tag the elements from a “minimum tagging requirement list’ within the ACRA taxonomy. Companies may choose to submit more information in XBRL format than minimum requirement list.
By when should you file financial statements in XBRL
Every business entity that is required to file their annual returns must prepare their financial statements in XBRL format after the end of its financial year.
From 31 August 2018, the timelines for holding Annual General Meetings and the filing of annual returns have been aligned with the financial year ends of companies.
How to prepare financial statements in XBRL
Companies have multiple options to consider when it comes to preparing their XBRL reports. The best option will depend on the resources available in house.
- If you have in-house expertise then you can download and install ACRA’s free BizFinx preparation tool which allows tagging of data against the taxonomy.
- If you prefer an XBRL expert’s help then you could consider outsourcing to XBRL service providers like FinTags. We receive financial statements in Word/PDF format and deliver accurately tagged XBRL files.
Disclaimer : For your benefit we have collated relevant information related to XBRL filing with ACRA. Although we try our best to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, you rely on it at your own risk. The information is provided as a guide only and is not professional advice including legal advice. You should obtain specific professional advice before taking action.