What are the benefits of using XBRL?
Answer: Providing greater access to corporate financial data End-users of financial information can request for specific items in the financial statements across a wide spectrum of companies, e.g. companies in similar industries, for analysis or benchmarking purposes. Such information may not be easily available currently for financial statements which are filed in Portable Document Format (PDF) or hardcopies. It will also require less effort in collating and manual re-keying of data. The potential users to benefit from XBRL includes shareholders, investors, members of the public, banks and institutional lenders, stock brokers, credit bureau, companies themselves, etc; Facilitating one-stop filing Having prepared the statements under one standard format, in the long run it would be possible for one-stop agency to be established where companies need only file one set of financial statements with that agency, e.g. ACRA, to fulfill their statutory financial reporting obligations. The same set of financial statements filed can be transferred to other regulatory agencies with similar filing requirements, e.g. IRAS; and Strengthening regulatory vigilanceHaving expended less effort in sieving through various reporting formats, collating and manual re-keying of data, regulators can devote more time on analysing data and performing their regulatory vigilance functions. Experiences in other countries show that XBRL has been instrumental in improving the regulators surveillance and vigilance functions and ACRA is, likewise , also tapping on XBRL to improve efficiencies and effectiveness of its surveillance and vigilance functions.
Will XBRL change accounting standards?
Answer: No. XBRL is simply a language for transmitting information. It must accurately reflect data reported under the applicable accounting standards, it does not change them. [Source: XBRL.org]
Who developed XBRL?
Answer: XBRL is developed by a global consortium called XBRL.org, which comprises approximately 450 leading companies, associations, and agencies involved in providing or using business information. Members of the global consortium comprise professional services and consulting companies, financial services and information providers, software and other technology providers, government and not-for-profit organisations, and accounting and trade organisations. These include the Big Four accounting firms, International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), UK Companies House, EDGAR Online, US FDIC, Korea Stock Exchange, Microsoft, Moodys Investor Service, Morgan Stanley, New Zealand Stock Exchange, Reuters, Shanghai Stock Exchange, Stock Exchange of Thailand, Tokyo Stock Exchange, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, CPA Australia etc. [Source: XBRL.org]
Which countries or organisations have adopted XBRL?
Answer: To date, XBRL has been adopted by major industry players, such as Dresdner Bank (to enhance its credit monitoring process), Bank of America, Microsoft (to streamline its data dissemination to various stakeholders), Morgan Stanley and Reuters. XBRL has also been adopted by some regulators in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Sweden , China, US and UK for their regulatory filings. These include the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), UK Inland Revenue Authority, the Stock Exchanges of Tokyo, Shenzhen, South Korea, UK Companies House and the Swedish Companies Registration Office. In April 2007, the National Bank of Belgium which is responsible for collecting financial statements from Belgian companies, switched to accepting accounts filed in XBRL.
Where can I obtain more information on XBRL?
Answer: For future announcements and updates on FS Manager and ACRA’s implementation of XBRL, please visit our Homepage at http://www.acra.gov.sg. You may sign up for ACRA News Online to get the latest news updates. To sign up, please fill up the online form at http://appiqs.acra.gov.sg/ops/reg/reg02.asp. Further information on XBRL, including latest updates and international developments can be accessed at:http://www.xbrl.org Frequently asked questions on XBRL can be found in our interactive web service, ASK ACRA at http://appiqs.acra.gov.sg/iqs/ask_acra.asp. You can also access our Interactive Voice Response System for information on XBRL by calling our hotline number at (65) 6248 6028 and choose option 1, followed by 4.
Where can I get some training on the use of the FS Manager?
Answer: To help you with the transition for filing financial statements using FS Manager, ACRA has appointed several training partners such as DP Bureau, the Singapore Academy of Law, Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) Australia, Singapore Association of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (SAICSA) and Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS), to offer training sessions on using FS Manager. Details of these training sessions are now available at our website -http://www.acra.gov.sg/News_and_Events/Calendar_of_Events/ You may also sign up for ACRA News Online to get the latest news updates. To sign up, please fill up the online form at http://appiqs.acra.gov.sg/ops/reg/reg02.asp.
How do companies create financial statements in XBRL format?
Why are there no signatures in the Financial Statements filed in full XBRL format (Option A)? How do I know if the accounts have been audited when the filed financial statements do not show any signatures in the Auditors’ Report?
Answer: The full XBRL format (Option A) requires the accounts of a company which have been prepared in XBRL to be filed in that format. The XBRL format in FS Manager does not provide for the inclusion of signatures of the directors or auditors. As such, the pdf document generated from the XBRL accounts will not indicate any signatures. Notwithstanding that the signatures may not be apparent where the accounts have been filed in full XBRL, the director of the company is required to confirm that the accounts which are filed have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act. The onus is on the directors of the company to ensure that the requirements for the preparation of the accounts are in compliance with the Companies Act, including the requirement to have the accounts audited, where applicable. If ACRA detects any non-compliance with the necessary requirements, we will take appropriate action against the company. However, please note that the absence of the signatures of the auditors do not necessarily indicate that the accounts have not been duly audited, as explained.