Directors Compliance Program (DCP) Assists the Singapore Companies in Accurate Filing of their Annual Returns
ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) of Singapore has mellowed its stance towards the directors of companies that have failed to comply with the statutory compliance. The agency has found that a large percentage of directors of new Singapore company setup are unaware of their obligations stated in the Company Act.
ACRA has launched a two-pronged attack to address the problem. The agency is working with the Singapore Institute of Directors, to provide training in financial reporting. The program assists the directors of listed and non-listed companies in ensuring the accuracy of financial statements.
Directors Compliance Program (DCP)
ACRA has also launched another initiative dubbed the ‘Directors Compliance Program.’ The program educates the first-time offenders and helps them in getting a grip on the situation. The program informs about the directors’ fiduciary and statutory duties, penalties, and fines for non-compliance and the other administrative duties they must perform.
The ACRA sends a letter of notification to the directors of Singapore companies inviting them to attend one of the half-day DCP sessions if they have failed to,
- Schedule an AGM (Annual General Meeting) within the 18 months from the date of registration of their company (or, in case of old companies, 15 months from the end of the last financial year of their company)
- File accurate annual returns of their companies
DCP Allows you to Fine-free Late Filing of Annual Returns
The directors must attend a DCP session, once they get the letter inviting them to do so. It is compulsory and failure to do so is punished with the financial penalties.
However, on the plus side, directors get a grace period of 60 days prepare their accounts, hold their AGM and table their financial statements. They do not have to pay any fine for late filing of their statements. Abiding by the deadline of 60 days is necessary as a failure in taking corrective actions brings financial penalties.
The notification letter gives an alternative to the directors. It asks them to dissolve or strike off their companies before the date mentioned. In fact, ACRA demands that the striking off letters must be made before the date mentioned.
In July 2015, it has implemented new audit exemption criteria. According to it, private companies having net assets and annual revenue equal or less than S$10 million and employing 50 or fewer employees qualifies as SMALL COMPANY. More than 25,000 Singapore companies benefited from the changes made in the criteria.
That is why ACRA is very serious about maintaining its robust corporate and accounting environment. By March 2016, it is planning to train more than 3,000 directors through this initiative.