How To Do XBRL Filing in Singapore

Organizations required to submit financial statements to ACRA as of 1 November 2007 must do so in XBRL format.

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

a. Create an XBRL FS using the BizFinx preparation tool and submit your annual return using the BizFile+ site; or

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

How to prepare the company’s financial statements in XBRL format using BizFinx Preparation Tool

  1. Download the free BizFinx preparation tool from ACRA.
  2. Obtain the financial statements presented at the annual general meeting (AGM FS) of your business. The Preparation Tool refers to this as the “source document” and it can be in either Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel formats.
  3. Link the financial statement line items to the appropriate ACRA Taxonomy tags. Fill out each tab in the template. Only leave the data fields blank if the AGM FS is missing the necessary details.
  4. Validate your XBRL FS offline after completion. Review and, if necessary, fix the noted mistakes.
  5. Utilize the BizFinx Preparation Tool to directly validate and upload your XBRL FS. To upload the XBRL FS, select the “Acknowledge and Upload” option. When an XBRL file is successfully submitted, the message “Your XBRL file has been uploaded” is displayed.
  6. Log onto BizFile+ and upload the correct XBRL FS before filing the annual return.

Exemption requests from XBRL filing requirements

The filing of XBRL FS in compliance with the filing requirements is obligatory for all businesses, whether limited or unrestricted by shares.

Companies can request an exemption from certain business regulations when submitting their financial statements in XBRL format (for example, they can request to have the requirement for comparable periods in their financial statements removed if they have a good cause). 

Applications for exemptions are assessed individually, and there is no cost for this service. Fill out the exemption request form (DOCX, 26KB) and email it to [email protected] to request an exception. You must submit an XBRL file and the company’s signed AGM financial statements with your application for the exemption.

Please be aware that depending on the complexity of each case, processing could take anywhere from 3 to 7 business days.

The business can proceed to submit the XBRL file to the BizFinx server if the results of the online validation show that the errors are “possible” or “granted exemption/not applicable.”

Common Mistakes to Watch Out For When Filing Financial Statements in XBRL

The text block data in the XBRL format does not match the AGM financial statements.

Make sure the text in the block under “Disclosure of complete set of financial statements” is readable and consistent with the financial statements you submitted for your AGM.

To insert the whole set of financial statements, double-click the text block cell to bring up the text editor, then copy and paste all of the financial statements from the imported source document into the text block.

If the source document has embedded Excel objects, you can use the “Embedded Excel Conversion Utility” that is installed together with the BizFinx preparation tool to produce a set of financial statements with correctly formatted tables for use in the preparation tool.

Financial information in XBRL filings is different to that in AGM statements.

Your AGM financial statements’ content must correspond to the XBRL data. Errors typically result from:

  • Rounding level (thousands, millions, etc.)
  • Indicators of currencies (USD, SGD, etc.)
  • Presentation style (e.g., type of revenue statement broken down by nature or function)
  • Net cash flows have not been completed
  • Earnings Per Share (EPS) not provided in dollars per share
  • Profit or loss from discontinued business (when using financial statement highlights)
  • Type of accounting standard (SFRS, SFRS for SE, etc.) used for preparing financial statements
  • When a company is preparing consolidated financial statements for the first time and prior year group level numbers are not given in the AGM financial statements, $0 is disclosed in the prior year group column.

Incomplete XBRL data

Make sure you’ve finished all the templates on the list of the minimum requirements. Only leave fields empty if they don’t apply to your business. The most typical blank fields are:

  • Plant, equipment, and real estate
  • Other and trade receivables
  • shares of equity
  • Expense for employee benefits
  • Name of the organization or family

Relin Consultants are a Singapore-based service provider. Our efficient team will make the XBRL filing Singapore process for your company easy and simple.