Every year, your company has to prepare its Singapore financial statements. These documents must be presented in the Annual General Meetings and included in the reports sent to the government.
Here are the most asked questions to help you know more about financial statements in Singapore.
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1. What are included in Singapore financial statements?
According to the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards, a full set of financial statements comprises the following:
- A statement of financial position (balance sheet)
- A statement of comprehensive income
- A statement of cash flows
- A statement of equity change
- Notes on other explanatory information
These statements must include not only the figures of the current targeted financial year but also the preceding period for comparative purposes. For example, the balance sheet for the financial year 2014 must also include the figures in 2013.
If your company has control over another company (having 51% of the shares for example), you must file consolidated financial statements to present the financial position of both group and the company.
Here is an illustration of Singapore financial statements.
2. Does my company have to file financial statements in Singapore?
All companies in Singapore are required to file financial statements in XBRL format with ACRA.
Most companies have to file these statements in a Full XBRL template. Smaller and non-publicly accountable companies are eligible for a simplified version of XBRL template (which has much fewer elements to fill in than the full template).
Your company is considered a “smaller company” when:
- Its revenue in the financial year is no more than 500,000 SGD, and
- The value of total assets is also no more than 500,000 SGD.
And your company is considered non-publicly accountable in Singapore when it is not listed on a securities exchange and does not issue any equity instruments.
3. Can my business be exempted from filing financial statements in Singapore?
Yes, but only in the following circumstances:
- Your type of business is a sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, or limited liability partnership.
- Your company has been dormant since the end of the previous financial year. Furthermore, it is not a listed company, not a subsidiary company, and its total assets are not more than 500,000 SGD.
- Your Singapore company is a solvent exempt private company. An exempt private company (EPC) is defined as a company that has fewer than 20 members. None of them is a corporation. An EPC is solvent when it is able to pay its debts before due dates.
And remember: even if your business is exempted from filing its Singapore financial statements with ACRA, you still must prepare and keep the records of these financial statements. In case of an investigation, for example, the government can still request to check these documents from your business.
Solvent exempt private companies can have the option of filing financial statements voluntarily in Singapore.
4. What is the filing deadline for Singapore financial statements?
Your company must include financial statements in the annual reports sent to ACRA (unless it is exempted). So, the Singapore financial statements filing deadline will align with the annual report deadline.
For your information, the deadline for an annual report is within 7 months for non-listed companies and within 5 months for listed companies after a financial year end.
However, prior to an annual report, your company has to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and present its financial statements to the shareholders in such event. The company can be exempted from holding an AGM when its financial statements are sent to all the members within 5 months after the financial year end.
So, it is best practice for you to prepare these documents before an AGM takes place. Later, you will just need to put these prepared figures in an XBRL template and submit it to ACRA.
5. Do my company’s financial statements need to be audited in Singapore?
No, but only if your company is a “small company” in Singapore. To be considered “small”, your company must be a private company and, in its first or second financial year, satisfy 2 out of the 3 conditions:
- The annual revenue is no more than 10 million
- The total assets are no more than 10 million
- The number of staff is no more than 50.
If your company is exempted from the auditing requirement, it need not appoint an auditor.
On the other hand, if your company is not a small company, it has to audit the Singapore financial statements, therefore must appoint an auditor (within 3 months after the incorporation, according to the Companies Act).
6. How can I prepare my company’s Singapore financial statements?
For general meetings or internal use, you can prepare the financial statements in any wanted format (Words or Excel for example).
However, when filing with ACRA, you must prepare these financial documents in XBRL format. There are two ways to do so.
The first way is to use the BizFin preparation tool and prepare the documents by yourself. Here is the simplified process:
- Step 1. Download the tool
- Step 2. Fill in the fields in the XBRL template according to your available financial statements (the ones that you have already presented at the annual general meeting).
- Step 3. Use the tool to check for errors, then fix them accordingly.
- Step 4. Upload the financial statements, then login to BizFile+ and file the annual report with the uploaded documents.
The second way is much less troublesome. It is to engage outsourcing accounting services in Singapore. Self-preparing financial statements is painful if you don’t have enough accounting skills. Accounting services will make sure everything is filed in the right way and at the right time.
- Your company must include its Singapore financial statements in annual reports filed with ACRA. In a few circumstances (being a solvent exempt private company for example), it need not prepare financial statements.
- It is best for you to prepare the company’s financial statements before an annual general meeting takes place.
- When filing with ACRA, the financial statements must be prepared in XBRL format.
- Your company does not need to audit its Singapore financial statements if it is considered a small company.
- If you do not have sufficient accounting skills, the best solution is to engage third-party accounting services. They will make sure everything is filed correctly.