Annual Return in XBRL, 12 things a company Director Must Know about !

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Filing of Annual Returns in XBRL format can be a real hassle, but there is a way out…

The Annual Return must be filed with the Registrar within 30 days after the AGM.

It is “the” means of annual reporting to ACRA of the financial performance of your company !

1. XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, a language used in computers to present financial statements such that they can be retrieved from online records & transferred directly to users such as auditors, regulators, financial analysts for various purposes.

2. The Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) implemented a new filing requirement for Singapore incorporated companies to file their financial statements (FS) in full XBRL format with effect from 3 March 2014.

3. Companies & every director that breach these statutory obligations may be offered an opportunity to pay a composition sum of $300 per breach instead of facing prosecution. Separately, a late lodgement fee will be imposed at time of lodgement, for each AR that is lodged late. S197(1b)

4. XBRL…

* facilitates the conduct of business in Singapore

* provides more value-added financial information

* enhances the regulatory environment with improved transparency

* timely disseminates relevant financial information.

5. Directors are ultimately responsible for the correctness & accuracy of Financial Statements in XBRL format filed with ACRA, ignorance is No Excuse !

6. The following companies are exempted from filing their full set of financial statements in XBRL format, & will just need to file their financial statements in PDF with Financial Statements Highlights in XBRL format :

a. Commercial Banks

b. Merchant Banks

c. Registered Insurers

d. Finance Companies, that are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore ( MAS )

7. Insolvent EPCs will have the following options to file their financial statements with ACRA:

a. A full set of financial statements in XBRL format; or

b. A full set of financial statements in PDF with Financial Statements Highlights in XBRL format.

8. Companies limited by guarantee will continue to file only their financial statements in PDF format to ACRA.

9. Foreign companies & their local branches will also continue to file only their financial statements (FS) in PDF format to ACRA.

10. Your company will file its FS in XBRL format only it meets the following two criteria:

a. the company’s FS ends on or after 30 April 2007; &

b. the company is filing its Annual Returns on or after 1 November 2007

11. You can either file by :

a. do-it-yourself – log on to the Bizfile website, go through all the procedures & prepare the XBRL report yourself; or

b. free yourself of the hassle by engaging a professional firm to assist you in the preparation, Corporate BackOffice Pte Ltd is one of these professional firms which can help you.

12. The advantages of getting professional help are :

* As directors are responsible for the correct representation & accuracy of the information filed, hence better let the professionals do the job

* the filing process can be time-consuming & daunting, taking up valuable time that could have been spent on core business functions

* Outsourcing the filing to a professional accounting services firm gives directors & business owners peace of mind, knowing that their company’s compliance needs are in good hands

* eliminates the hassle of figuring out how to use the online filing system, selecting the required information for disclosure, entering the information manually, and reviewing the financial statements.

Don’t attempt to do Annual Returns in XBRL by yourself, the process may be very time consuming & inefficient use of your time.

If you need help, feel free to contact us at :

(O) +65 63851011

(M) +65 90880669

(E) [email protected]

Written by Kelvin Loh