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Why should you file in XBRL format?

Advantages of XBRL for the regulator, filers and consumers.

Why should you file financial statements in XBRL format with ACRA?

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (“ACRA”) is the national regulator of business entities and public accountants in Singapore. ACRA 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.

In tandem, ACRA also developed the BizFinx preparation tool based on feedback gathered from preparers of financial statements. A key priority was to help reduce the filing burden for companies. Key features include giving companies the ability to prepare their financial statements offline, auto-tagging function that automatically maps financial information within the financial statement using a set of accounting term synonyms. There is also drag-and-drop functionality to populate the data fields

Under the revised XBRL filing requirements all mandated Singapore incorporated companies are required to file their financial statements with ACRA. Depending on the type of business thy have to file either as full set of financial statements or only the financial statement highlight in XBRL format according to a minimum requirement list within the new ACRA Taxonomy 2013

Advantages for the regulator

XBRL filing allows for greater transparency as data can be sliced and diced almost immediately for analysis with software tools. This affords a far wider scope and complexity for business analytics than manual comparisons of financial statements.

The XBRL reporting system will allow the ACRA to determine industry trends and gain a high-level understanding of business in Singapore. By identifying various trends, ACRA will be able to pinpoint issues relating to the financial soundness of individual operations. ACRA will also be able to compare companies with companies and industries with industries over different periods.

Advantages for the user and consumer

Companies can also tap on XBRL enabled data to enhance their business decision making process. With more companies filing in full XBRL, analysis of business data can be more efficiently generated and made available to the business community. Enhancing the availability and accessibility of such information also promotes greater transparency in the marketplace which is crucial for sustainable business growth. To enable companies to experience the business value of XBRL enabled data, ACRA will offer one time free data analysis usage for companies that file their financial statement in full XBRL

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