Do I File Financial Statements in Full or Simplified XBRL?

Staff Writer

December 6, 2023

What’s in the article?

Every year all incorporated companies in Singapore need to submit their financial statement with ACRA to ensure all data is updated. Since 1 November 2007, ACRA has required financial statements to be submitted in the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format to make it easier to analyze company financial data.

XBRL, itself is developed to improve the communication abilities of financial data across users such as investors, regulators, and analysts. It helps ensure data integrity and offers an electronic format that makes business reporting convenient for all. As per ACRA regulations, every company incorporated in Singapore or carrying on business in the country needs to follow the XBRL format for filing. However other companies can also be exempt from filing XBRL format, such as limited partnerships, sole proprietors, and dormant companies that fall under Section 201A of the Singapore Companies ACT. 

In this guide, we will provide full information about the full and simplified XBRL filings as they are critical and most used by companies all over Singapore.

Comparison Table: Full vs Simplified XBRL Filing

Factor Full XBRL Filing Simplified XBRL Filing
Complexity Comprehensive and includes all financial aspects and elements. Much more simple, because it omits some data elements.
Data Representation Detailed and exhaustive. Condensed and simplified.
Regulator Compliance Often required for larger corporations or stringent regulations. Suited for smaller businesses that need simplified reporting requirements.
Resource Requirement Higher resources are required for data preparation and verification. Lower resource requirement due to reduced data complexity.
Costs Higher costs. Lower costs.
Suitability Suited for complex financial structure and extensive reporting needs. Ideal for businesses with straightforward financial data and fewer reporting requirements.

Detailed Comparison: Full vs Simplified XBRL Filing

XBRL filing can do wonders for businesses in Singapore as it facilitates the application of business and logical rules to validate data, this will effectively eliminate any errors and help ensure data integrity. This validation will ensure that the data presented is trustworthy as it adheres to the defined definition and current regulatory standards in force. 

What is the Full XBRL Filing?

Full XBRL filings in Singapore involve the comprehensive reporting of financial statements in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format. The full XBRL template has around 210 data elements, it represents the information contained in primary statements and selected notes to financial statements.

As the full XBRL needs all detailed information about company financial statements, you should make sure to include the following documents when submitting the full XBRL filing:

  • Statement of financial position
  • Statement of profit or loss
  • Changes in equity
  • Cash flow
  • Financial notes or comparative information

Full XBRL filing will demand more resources in terms of time, and expertise - thus it is a mandatory requirement for larger corporations. Due to the extensive data needs and requirements, the cost for this type of filing will potentially be higher than the simplified one. 

What is a Simplified XBRL Filing?

On the contrary to full XBRL filing, simplified XBRL filing means reporting with less complexity and a smaller set of financial data. While you will need to fill in around 210 data elements in full XBRL filing, simplified XBRL filing only contains around 120 data elements as it involves leaving out specific detailed financial elements or notes that are not necessary for simpler reporting.

Simplified XBRL filing is best suited for smaller or medium-sized enterprises with simple financial setups and fewer reporting requirements. It is also much lower in cost, thus it won't burden SMEs' budgets. 

Does Your Company Have to File Full or Simplified XBRL Templates?

Whether your company will have to file a full or simplified XBRL will largely depend on the size and complexity of the company's financial structure.  Larger companies might have mandatory requirements for Full XBRL filings, while smaller and non-publicly accountable companies could opt for Simplified XBRL. A small company here means a company whose revenue and total assets for the current financial year do not exceed S$500,000.

Let Us Take Care of Your XBRL Filing!

Compliance in filing financial statements is crucial for any company in Singapore. But indeed, with the detailed filing requirements - it can be daunting to do it yourself. After all, failing to ensure the accuracy of the XBRL filing can harm your company in the long term.

Save a great deal of time and money by hiring our expert team to help prepare your financial statement with high compliance standards. The Wealthbridge team will allow you to relax and focus on your core business, while we tackle all your XBRL filing needs!

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