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The XBRL And Its Benefits For Businesses

Business and financial data, particularly in Singapore, are communicated using a language called XBRL, or Extensible Business Reporting Language. The XBRL is used to prepare financial statements of companies using the FS Manager, a free online tool developed by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA). ACRA distributes this tool to registered businesses for free. Using the XBRL format means companies are given the correct template to follow, making it easier for them to organise data. It also makes it easier for the recipient – which is ACRA-to compile all data it receives from all business entities.

To help you further understand how to use XBRL, here are the following frequently asked questions.

Which types of companies are required to file using the XBRL format?

All companies that are limited and unlimited by shares, which are required to file financial statements with ACRA, are obliged to submit these in the XBRL format.

There are certain business entities that are excluded, though. These include banks, insurance, and finance companies which are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), in which case they are supposed to file financial statements with the MAS. Also excluded are companies allowed by the law to follow accounting standards other than the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards or else the International Financial Reporting Standards. All excluded companies are expected to file their statements using the PDF format.

How do you file XBRL financial reports?

There are two possible options for filing financial statements in XBRL format. First is filing the full statement in XBRL; the second is filing a partial XBRL format.

The partial XBRL format would include only the following parts: the Statement of Financial Position, the Statement of Comprehensive Income (as well as Income Statement if applicable); as well as other Mandatory Information as stipulated in the FS Manager.

The ACRA encourages companies unfamiliar with using the FS Manager to seek help from professional accounting firms or any other service provider providing training sessions. This is to assure accurate, timely, and complete filing of relevant financial statements every time.

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