Something that should be considered prior to Singapore company registration is the way in which vital information will be filed and later processed or analyzed. XBRL is a program that can make all of this simpler and allow for more efficient and effective decision making.

How It Works

XBRL, short for Extensible Business Reporting Language, is one of many different computer languages. What makes this one different is that, through a process of tagging, it allows machines to read documents. Source data can be tagged electronically and allow a user’s system to extract information without the need to key in or copy and paste. Not only is it possible to tag words, but users can also tag numbers and quantitative data. As such, if a statistical analysis of one or more documents is needed, it can be performed without extensive effort.

An Example

For example, consider the word “payroll” as it is likely to appear multiple times in a document following Singapore company registration. In the event that someone, whether a statistician or a reader, would like to have all of the references to payroll pulled and gathered into one place, he or she would have to do so manually since the information is not machine-readable without XBRL. Since this program allows for such activities to occur automatically and electronically, things are simplified and will allow for more productive decision-making.

What Is ACRA?

ACRA stands for Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. This group is responsible for regulating public accountants as well as business entities, and it plays a vital role in facilitating the development of many industries. Following Singapore company registration, businesses are required to file financial statements with this group unless they are exempted, which is discussed in greater detail below. They offer vital information on the preparation of these statements and how to file them.

Revised Requirements

On February 3, 2014, it was announced that there would be new XBRL filing requirements in place one month later on March 3, 2014. The current FS manager was replaced with a brand new tool for preparing financial statements after Singapore company registration – BizFinᵡ. What’s more, the BizFinᵡ Portal is now the new (and only) way to submit annual returns and financial statements. All Singaporean companies required to file statements with ACRA must use this format. Some business types are exempted, and this includes but is not limited to those limited by guarantee, foreign companies registered locally, and those that are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Transition Support

Businesses that have finished Singapore company registration and are required to switch to XBRL, or BizFinᵡ, can get some support from various companies and preparers. There are subsidized seminars that those responsible for document preparation can attend, guides that are being provided by ACRA that detail the proper use of BizFinᵡ, and intensive training courses for those who choose to attend. There are also internet-based sources that will allow those responsible for using the software to have access to technical support and training assistance.

What Businesses Should Know

For those who are new to XBRL, it is important to study up on the filing requirements and what their company’s financial reporting processes will be. It is generally best to assign a team to handle the preparation of such documents, though everyone in a managerial position should understand at least the basics of XBRL. For those who do not wish to learn the new format, it is possible to outsource the preparation of these statements to outside companies. Businesses should also know the expected formats and exactly what they are required to provide in order to avoid delays or fees that may be associated with a failure to comply.

How It Will Help

The idea is that making documents machine-readable will lighten the load for businesses after Singapore company registration and will make ACRA’s job much easier. Being able to instantly find vital pieces of information that are contained within these reports enhances overall efficiency and productivity, allowing members of the business as well as ACRA access to the statistics they need without hours, days or even weeks of extra work going into finding it. What’s more, since document preparers will not have to take extra time to create new pages with certain sets of statistics, financial statement preparation will be simpler overall. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

Overall, while the transition to XBRL may seem complicated to many business owners following Singapore company registration, the end result is one that boosts overall efficiency and effectiveness for all of the involved groups. Sandhurst Consultancy is well versed in all aspects of XBRL filing requirements.

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