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Essential Facts On Companies’ Financial Year

According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA), a company is free to modify its financial period at any time without seeking its prior approval provided that the company has already lodged its Annual Return or AR. In doing so, companies need to take note of certain considerations applicable to specific company types.

For subsidiary companies, the financial year needs to coincide with that of their holding company. When applying for such, one has to log-in to BizFile, ACRA’s one-stop business service shop, under “Local Company.” Subsequently, one needs to pick the menu “Application for a Subsidiary of Holding Company to have a Different Financial Year.” Newly incorporated companies, meanwhile, cannot make any changes in their financial year since, during the first year, the filing of ARs is still not required (such commences at the end of a company?s first year).

When changing the financial period, companies must note that it must be less than 24 months from the previous financial year.

Will any changes made to the financial year also affect the holding of the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which every company needs to conduct even before producing an AR? The AGM, as stipulated by law, still needs to be conducted annually regardless of whether the financial year of the company has been changed or not.

How do companies deal with a proposed extension of time for the holding of its GM and its desire to change its financial year? The company has to inform ACRA of the change before applying for an extension through the company director or secretary. Companies can also hire a professional firm or service bureau to file the online lodgement with ACRA.

A company can start informing ACRA by logging-in to BizFile, ACRA’s one-stop business services shop, using their SingPass ID or Professional Number as well as password. Once there, one has to choose the menu “e-Services,” then proceed to “Local Company.” One will then have to select “Annual Filing” from the subsequent menu, and then select “Notification for Change of Financial Year.”

ACRA does not charge anything for this type of change to be made.