XBRL Filing: Everything You Need to Know

1. What Is XBRL Filing?

XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is a global reporting language for electronic communication of business and financial data used for articulately defining the reporting terms which can then be used to represent the contents of financial statements or other types of compliance, performance, and business reports in a unique manner.

Every year, millions of XBRL documents are created, replacing older, paper-based reports with more useful, effective, and accurate digital versions allowing reporting data to move between organisations quickly, accurately, and digitally.


2. Who Are Required To File Financial Statements In XBRL Format?

As of November 01, 2007, ACRA (Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority) has mandated the filing of financial statements by the companies in XBRL format.

All Singapore (SG) incorporated companies are required to file financial statements (FS) with ACRA, except for those which are exempted(listed below). However, in order to make the filing process simpler, ACRA has recently revised the filing requirements effective from May 01, 2021.


3. Who Are Exempted from XBRL Filing?

You are not required to file FS with ACRA if you own a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, or a solvent exempt private company.

How To Apply For Exemption?

Applications for exemptions are assessed individually, and there are no charges for this service.

Exemption requests can be submitted by filling out the form and sending it to ACRA_XBRL_Application@acra.gov.sg along with an XBRL file and the company’s signed AGM financial statements.


4. What Are The Revised XBRL Filing Requirements?

Effective from May 01, 2021, Companies who are required to file FS in XBRL format must apply the revised requirements from May 01, 2021.

Companies may choose to adopt the amended reporting requirements and data items voluntarily from May 16, 2020, to April 30, 2021. (both dates inclusive).

What Are The Different Templates Provided By ACRA?

Companies must use one of four templates to meet the revised filing requirements and data elements:

Full XBRL: This template now only has about 210 data elements, a 50% reduction from the original number. Only primary statements and a few selected notes will be captured.

Simplified XBRL: The XBRL FSH (General) template has been replaced with a simplified version that has about 120 data elements. The complete range of data from the financial performance and position statements will be captured. XBRL FSH (Banks): This template has undergone minor changes and contains approximately 80 data elements. XBRL FSH (Insurance): A small amount of change has been made to this template having about 80 data elements.

Refer to the table below for revisions made to the filing requirements and data elements:


How XBRL Filing Can Help Your Business?

Efficiency: XBRL offers significant advantages in the analysis and communication of business information, resulting in cost savings, increased efficiency, and improved accuracy and reliability for all those involved in the use of financial data.

Transparency: Greater transparency is one of XBRL’s main benefits because data can be quickly and easily split for software-based analysis which provides business analytics a much wider scope and a greater level of complexity than manual comparison of financial statements.

Benchmarking: You will be able to use a fresh supply of data analysis to assist in the interpretation of financial data, the creation of benchmarks, peer and industry comparisons, and the suggestion of strategies to boost operational effectiveness.

Data Analysis: Analysis of company data may be produced and made available to the business community more efficiently if more organisations file in full XBRL.

Want to file your financial statements?

Frequently Asked Questions

There are numerous uses for XBRL, including those by the following parties:
Regulators: Financial/Securities Regulators, Tax Authorities, Business Registrars, etc.
Companies: Information Movement along complex groups, Providing information to various regulators, Supply chain information exchange, etc.
Governments: Attempts by government organisations to streamline the reporting process for businesses, etc.
Data Providers: Use data to make various comparisons with multiple market participants, etc.
Analyst & Investors: Use data to analyse the relative risk & performance, etc.
Accountants: Use XBRL to support their clients’ reporting needs, and help in the preparation and filing of financial statements, etc.

In order to compile your company’s financial statements in XBRL format (“XBRL FS”) and submit them with your annual return, there are two main steps to follow:

Create an XBRL FS using the BizFinx preparation tool and submit your annual return using the BizFile+ site. (Step by step guide is provided by ACRA on their website.)

Utilize accounting software that can easily create and submit annual returns to ACRA (using Simplified XBRL FS).

You can also hire a corporate service provider to assist your business in preparing XBRL FS.

A private can only have a maximum of 50 members in a private company, however, it can be exempt from taxes if:
it has less than 20 members and no corporations own beneficial interests in its shares (whether directly or indirectly).
it is owned by the government and listed in the Gazette as an exempt private company.
If an exempt private firm is unable to pay its debts when they are due, it is insolvent and as previously indicated, insolvent EPCs are obligated to submit FS.
Hence, EPCs that are solvent just need to declare their solvency online; however, filing FS is optional.

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