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XBRL Reporting is Required in Singapore

Last modified: June 27, 2016
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xbrlXBRL is the abbreviated form of extensible Business Reporting Language. It is a language to electronically communicate business details and financial data throughout the world. XBRL belongs to the family of XML language. XBRL reporting is becoming popular among businesses to communicate effectively and easily on the internet.

An international non-profit association which is comprised of around 450 government and non-government organizations has developed the open standard XBRL. There is no license fee for XBRL filing. The implementation of XBRL is a cost-effective step to prepare, analyze, and communicate business information accurately. It is a reliable source for all those who are involved in the supply and use of financial data.

All the Singapore incorporated companies are required to file their financial reports in XBRL format to the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore, unless they are exempted of filing their financial statements. Companies are required to use the FS manager through the Bizfile website to prepare and manage their financial detail in XBRL. All the registered companies in Singapore who will be filing their annual return on or after 1st of November are required to file their information in XBRL format in order to improve the accessibility of financial details. ACRA has made it essential to use XBRL as the standard online financial reporting system.

The Singapore incorporated companies are required to file either full set of statutory accounts in XBRL format or only some of the documents such as the balance sheets, income statements and some other mandatory information in XBRL format and rest of the financial detail in PDF format. This is known as partial XBRL submission.

Singapore government has included some exemptions in the XBRL format submission rules. Sectors such as banks, or insurance and finance companies that are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore are allowed to file their financial statement in PDF format. This also includes those companies who prepare their accounts as per Singapore Financial Reporting Standards or the International Financial Reporting Standards. ACRA encourages the Singapore registered companies to file their financial statement in full XBRL format by waiving off the penalties on late filing of annual reports.

The financial analysts and auditors can easily fetch the online financial records of the registered companies if it is submitted in XBRL format than to retrieve the data submitted in PDF format, which is a tedious and time consuming job.

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