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How to do XBRL Filing in Singapore: Essential Guide

Last modified: December 20, 2022
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How to do XBRL Filing in Singapore Essential Guide

In the past, companies used different formats for their corporate financial reporting. Computer programs could not accommodate all the variations. In 1998, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants launched XBRL format V1.0.

Singapore adopted XBRL filing requirements in 2007. It means Singapore companies, limited or unlimited by shares, must file their full set of Financial Statements (FS) to ACRA in XBRL format.

The data uploaded to ACRA in a uniform format is easy to manipulate. It enables authorities to better forecasting, budget, plan, etc. Financial institutes, experts, and government agencies analyse and mine it to find trends in the Singapore economy.


What is XBRL Filing?

XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is an XML-based language. It is designed to streamline the exchange of financial data between two entities. Read more about XBRL Filing.

  • The predefined data elements in XBRL taxonomies (libraries) simplify the conversion of financial data to XBRL format
  • It ensures data integrity
  • You can use an electronic format for business reporting



XBRL filing Singapore serves you best because:

  • You can publish your company reports in the original format. Your stakeholders get info in the format they understand better
  • It enables you to report your financials in the style, language, and currencies that you prefer
  • You can use business and logical rules to authenticate data and eliminate the errors
  • The data is trustable and actionable as it confirms the definitions and regulations in force


What are XBRL tags and taxonomies?

Computers can understand XBRL tags. Each tag identifies a unique data item. It simplifies processing, exchange and storage of data.

XBRL taxonomies are dictionaries of machine-readable tags. They store all data definitions, basic XBRL properties and the dependencies between the concepts like net income, EPS, cash, etc.


XBRL Filing Requirements in Singapore

In May 2021, ACRA updated XBRL filing requirements and introduced four templates:


Full XBRL template has around 210 data elements. Companies use it to upload data in their primary statements and selected notes to their FS.


Simplified XBRL

Companies must use Simplified XBRL template instead of XBRL FSH (General) to upload detailed information. It has close to 120 data elements.


XBRL FSH (Banks)

XBRL FSH (Banks) template is almost the same, and it has close to 80 data elements.


XBRL FSH (Insurance)

XBRL FSH (Insurance) template has around 80 data elements for better financial reporting.

At the time of filing, your FS choose the right template.


When is the XBRL Filing Deadline?

Companies must prepare for their XBRL filing Singapore after their Financial Year Ends (FYE).

  • Listed Singaporean companies must file within five months of the FYE
  • And non-listed companies must file within seven months of their FYE

Who must comply with XBRL Filing requirements?

Companies, unlimited or limited by shares and doing business in Singapore, must file their FS with ACRA in XBRL format.


Who is Exempted from XBRL Filing requirements?

ACRA exempts Limited partnerships, Partnerships, and Sole proprietorships from the requirement.

It has also exempted Dormant companies that fulfil Section 201A requirements of the Companies Act.


Who is responsible for XBRL filing Singapore?

ACRA holds directors of a company responsible for its XBRL filing. It is why companies hire accountants or XBRL filing services firms for the task. These professionals understand the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS) and SFRS for Small Entities.

Outsourcing to XBRL filing services ensures accurate filing and compliance. It saves time and money and enables staff to focus on the company’s primary goals.


Do companies need different XBRL filing formats?

Yes. After the update, companies need to choose a template from Full XBRL, Simplified XBRL, XBRL FSH (Banks), and XBRL FSH (Insurance) for their filing. The table provides a brief explanation.


Revised XBRL filing requirements of 1 May 2021



XBRL filing requirements


Singapore-registered companies not covered in Groups 2-5 below

Smaller and non-publicly accountable companies must file FS in Simplified XBRL template, + PDF copy of FS authorised by directors

All other companies – file FS in Full XBRL template.


Insolvent-exempt private companies (EPCs) registered in Singapore

Smaller and non-publicly accountable companies must file FS in Simplified XBRL template, + PDF copy of FS authorised by directors

All other companies – file FS in Full XBRL template.


Singapore-registered solvent EPCs

Not required to file FS.

For voluntary filing, file FS in either:

  • PDF copy authorised by directors; or
  • XBRL format

Singapore registered companies in banking, finance and insurance regulated by MAS

To file FS in:

  • XBRL FSH (Banks) template; or
  • XBRL FSH (Insurance) template;


PDF copy authorised by directors.


SG-registered companies preparing FS using accounting standards other than SFRS or IFRS

Submit PDF copy of their FS authorised by directors.


SG-registered companies limited by guarantee

Submit PDF copy of their FS authorised by directors.


Singapore branches of foreign companies

Submit PDF copy of their FS authorised by directors.


What are XBRL filing fees?

XBRL filing is a time-consuming task and can drain your resources. Many companies outsource it for these very reasons. The fees for the task vary with the XBRL services provider you choose.

They charge you more for filing your FS in Full XBRL on the company level than for filing FS Highlights. You pay even higher fees for Full XBRL on Consolidated Level.


Your Alternatives for Singapore XBRL filing

There are 3 alternatives for you to file your financial statements in XBRL format.

  1. Outsource the task to an XBRL services provider
  2. Use a commercial accounting software
  3. Use the BizFinx preparation tool to prepare and file your FS independently


Steps for DIY XBRL Filing Singapore

If you are ready to take the trouble and use the BizFinx preparation tool to file your FS, follow these steps:

  • Download ACRA’s BizFinx software
  • You will need documents (Microsoft Word or Spreadsheet) you tabled to the annual general meeting
  • Choose the XBRL template that applies to you
  • Map the items in your FS line by line to the relevant tags
  • For the unavailable values, leave the fields blank
  • After completing all the tabs, go for offline or online internal validation. Make adjustments as per feedback
  • Upload the data to the BizFinx preparation tool for validation
  • Log in to BizFile+ portal and upload the final template using FS in the XBRL form


Documents for Full XBRL Financial Reporting

At the time of Full XBRL filing, you can use FS Manager to file the following documents:

  • Balance sheet (Statement of Financial Position)
  • Auditors’ reports
  • Income statement (Statement of Comprehensive Income)
  • Cash flow statement
  • Directors’ report
  • Statement of Changes in Equity
  • All Notes to the FS
  • Information marked with red asterisks in FS Manager


How to correct errors in your XBRL financial statements?

If you find a mistake in XBRL report that you have already submitted, take steps to remedy the situation:

  • File a Notice of Error (NOE) with ACRA for clerical errors or typos
  • File a Court Order to dismiss the submitted annual return and for permission to submit its revised version

Are you having problems with updated XBRL filing requirements? Hire an XBRL services provider like SBS Consulting Pte Ltd. These professionals can take care of it and reduce your workload.

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