Full XBRL in Filing Financials Allows for Greater Transparency

XBRL-enabled business data could help Singapore companies gain business insights and enhance their decision making process. Additionally, the use of full XBRL in filing financials allows for greater transparency and consistency in the information extracted from financial reports.


At a seminar jointly organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) teamed up with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), over 500 participants were oriented on the upcoming new filing requirements for financial statements.


From 22 October 2013, Singapore incorporated companies (unless exempted) will be required to file a full set of financial statements in XBRL based on revised filing requirements. They will also file their financial statements through ACRA’s new one-stop financials filing portal, BizFinx. At the same time, a new preparatory tool is also made available for companies in preparing their financial statements in XBRL.


With XBRL, corporate financial information is readily available for use by consumers of financial information as opposed to the current PDF enabling an effective access and analysis of financial data.


Financial ratios and industry trend analyses are useful information that could be computed efficiently using XBRL enabled data.


The heightened comparability of financial information allows companies to not only measure themselves against competitors, but to also discern industry trends and achieve greater productivity due to a cutback in time needed to re-key data amongst other benefits.


The participants benefitted from the sharing sessions on the revised XBRL filing criteria as well as how they could potentially tap on the quality data derived, as a result of filing in XBRL, to gain competitive business insights.


Live demonstrations on key BizFinx features were also conducted. This include ACRA’s free one time usage of data analysis via the BizFinx portal for companies each time they file their financial statements in XBRL.


“This XBRL Seminar is really useful because it delves into the technical details and the new filing requirements. It also helps that the seminar shared what to look out for and how to go about using the BizFinx platform to file financial statements going forward,” says Chia Hui Ping, Accountant (Group Accounts), Singapore Airlines.


“The BizFinx platform came across as more user-friendly and efficient as there is a reduction in the number of taxonomy we have to type in ourselves unlike in the past where it was done manually,” adds Lee Yen Guan, Accounting Manger, Seadrill Management


"XBRL-enabled data can provide data-based insights that will allow businesses to gain a competitive edge through benchmarking against their competitors and also understand industry trends," says Lee Fook Chiew, Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants. "Businesses are serious about getting on board with the relevant and necessary changes to the filing requirements and are keen to grasp how to utilise the BizFinx system.”


On the benefits of digital business reporting, Kenneth Yap, Chief Executive, ACRA noted that “accountants are well positioned to help companies make the most of this shift towards full XBRL financial reporting. The potential benefits are immense, as companies will be able to analyse and benchmark financial performance in relation to other market players, and integrate the process of reporting and auditing data within the organisation.”


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