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Home > How To Guides > Filing Financial Statements > Preparing Your XBRL Financial Statements

Filing Financial Statements

Filing requirements, checklists, tools and other details on filing company financial statements in XBRL.

Relevant to:
Local CompaniesForeign Companies
After Starting UpManaging A company

Preparing Your XBRL Financial Statements

Under the BizFinx filing system, companies can prepare their XBRL financial statements via the BizFinx preparation tool or any third-party software tool, which will then be uploaded through an online BizFinx portal before submission with their Annual Return.

Preparers are encouraged to read the Preparers' Guide (PDF, 951KB), which is a comprehensive guide for preparers on preparing financial statements in accordance with the revised XBRL filing requirements.  

  1. Taxonomy
  2. BizFinx preparation tool
  3. Applying for XBRL exemptions
  4. Importance of Accurate and Complete XBRL Information
  5. Subsequent year preparation of XBRL financial statements

(a) Taxonomy

Taxonomy is the dictionary which the XBRL language uses, and it helps to define specific tags for individual items of data (such as “Revenue”).

In Singapore’s context, the ACRA Taxonomy is created based on the disclosure requirements for financial statements from Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS), SFRS for Small Entities, Singapore Companies’ Act as well as Singapore Exchange (SGX) Listing Manual. It allows companies to report a full set of financial statements or Financial Statements Highlights in accordance with ACRA’s revised XBRL filing requirements.

ACRA Taxonomy is a closed taxonomy that does not allow preparers to add or define their own company specific concepts nor creating their own relationships between the concepts. This is to enhance the comparability of the data collected. Certain customisations are however allowed within the ACRA Taxonomy to allow preparers flexibility in their presentation such as company specific labels and re-ordering of concepts. 

For more information on the taxonomy, please refer to the documents related to "Taxonomy" in Chapter 5 – Help resources

(b) BizFinx Preparation Tool

The BizFinx preparation tool  is provided by ACRA free-of-charge to facilitate companies' preparation of XBRL financial statements in accordance with the revised XBRL filing requirements.

System Requirements for the installation of the BizFinx Preparation Tool

Minimum Software Requirements 

Operating System and Software

Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10

Microsoft .net Framework

Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 or later, installed

Microsoft Office


MS Office 2003


MS Office 2007

Standard, Small Business, Professional, Professional Plus, Ultimate, Enterprise

MS Office 2010

Home and Business, Standard, Professional, Professional Plus

MS Office 2013

Home and Business, Standard, Professional, Professional Plus

MS Office 2016 Home and Business, Standard, Professional, Professional Plus 

Minimum Hardware Requirements


2.0GHz Core 2 Duo, i3, i5 or i7


2 GB

Hard Disk Space

200 MB of free space for Prep Tool

Monitor Resolution

1280 x 800 and above

To learn more about how to use the preparation tool and steps which preparers may take to resolve technical issues faced in using the tool, refer to the help resources available in “BizFinx Preparation Tool” section  In Chapter 5.

Validation Checks

To be accepted as part of the AR filing, XBRL financial statements will be required to pass the validation checks. There are generally three stages of validation:

  1. BizFinx preparation tool
  2. BizFinx portal
  3. Annual Return in BizFile+

Validation against the set of business rules within BizFinx will result in two categories of errors - genuine errors or possible errors:

  • Genuine errors - These errors must be rectified before filing. If the errors highlighted are not valid for your XBRL financial statements, please apply for exemption from specific XBRL filing requirements under the BizFinx portal.
  • Possible errors - These warnings highlight areas where the XBRL data may contain errors. If your XBRL data contains errors, please rectify the errors. If the XBRL data is correct (i.e. no error), you may ignore these warnings and no change is required. After uploading the XBRL file onto the BizFinx portal, please click on the provided checkbox(s) on the BizFinx portal to confirm that the XBRL data is correct.

You may also refer to the list of validation rules (Excel, 35.6KB).

Use of Annual General Meeting (AGM) Financial Statements in BizFinx Preparation Tool

The AGM financial statements in MS Word / Excel format may be used as a source document in the preparation tool, for the following purposes:

  • copy and paste the source document as the full set of financial statements
  • use the source document for auto-tag and drag-and-drop functions

To facilitate preparers’ work in preparing the XBRL financial statements using the BizFinx preparation tool, ACRA seeks the support of all parties (including the companies and auditors) to provide the soft copies of the financial statements in MS Word / Excel format to preparers of XBRL financial statements. This will increase companies’ efficiency in preparing XBRL financial statements and minimise typographical errors.

(c) Applying for XBRL Exemptions

Based on the AGM financial statements of the company, ACRA may grant the following types of exemptions:

  • file full set of financial statements in XBRL, with exemptions from specific business rules (e.g. requirement for comparative periods for a non-first year incorporated company)
  • file financial statement highlights instead of full XBRL. Such exemption is granted only if the company can prove that the full set of financial statements in XBRL cannot be prepared
  • file PDF financial statements. Such exemption is granted only if company can prove that the full set of financial statements in XBRL / financial statements highlights in XBRL cannot be prepared under the new ACRA taxonomy.

Exemption will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please submit the application letter and AGM financial statements, when submitting the exemption request through the BizFinx portal. No application fee is required.

(d) Importance of Accurate and Complete XBRL Information 

XBRL allows for generation of data which may be used by a large group of stakeholders for decision-making and analysis e.g. company management, potential investors, financial analysts, accountants etc. Accuracy and quality of the data submitted is critical to ensure the generation of meaningful analysis from XBRL data.

You may be asking: “Can I prepare the XBRL financial statements myself?”

To prepare the company’s financial statements in XBRL, the preparers should have a rudimentary grasp of accounting knowledge. This will be useful in ensuring the correctness and accuracy of XBRL financial data.

What should you do if you have noted errors in the XBRL financial statements filed with ACRA?

You may rectify errors in the XBRL financial statements through the following:

  • file NOE, if it is a typographical/clerical error
  • file a Court Order, if the error is of a substantial nature and not arising due to clerical / typographical errors.

Companies may face prosecution if the errors are found to be materially false or misleading.

For more information on the common errors to note and the rectification of errors in XBRL filings, please click here.

(e) Subsequent year preparation of XBRL financial statements

The following are some tips and guidance on preparation of subsequent year XBRL FS with the BizFinpreparation tool which may make your preparation easier.

Function  Tips / Guidance 

Importing prior year information

Three options are available to prepare XBRL FS for the subsequent year:

   i. ‘Open’ prior year file and indicate ‘Load Prior Period Data’ (recommended)

  • Prior year data are retained as the prior year and third year data (in primary statements and notes)
Third year data required Retain and set as restated (if necessary)

Third year data not required

Delete respective sections using custom date in toolbox
  • List of ‘unmatched elements’ will be shown
  • Perform auto-tagging and drag & drop to assist in preparation

   ii. ‘Create’ new XBRL FS with current year data and import prior year data from prior year XBRL FS

  • There is a risk of changes not updated to prior year data subsequent to importing

   iii. Open prior year excel FS and change dates accordingly for current year preparation

  • Prior year data do not get auto-populated
  • Data do not get changed
  • Risk of prior year filing not updated to current year / filed as current year filing (e.g. complete set of FS [text block])
  • Not recommended for active company as most data require update 

Minimum requirement list 

Minimum requirement list is a set of elements within the ACRA Taxonomy 2013 which companies are required to submit to ACRA if the information is available in the FS as tabled at AGM (Annual General Meeting).

By default, the BizFinx preparation tool generates templates based on minimum requirement list.

  • Getting familiarised with minimum requirement list will assist in the preparation of XBRL FS.
  • Minimum requirement list is derived based on feedback of what is useful for business analysis.

AGM FS copy


Review AGM FS copy to ensure legibility.

Examples of illegibility are misalignments and truncation of data (e.g. data out of page, overlapping data, data out of line).

Full set of financial statements

  1. Ensure that the complete set of FS as tabled at AGM (AGM FS) is submitted in this text block of “full set of financial statements”.
  2. Do not delete any portion from the AGM FS (except for cover page*) when copying and pasting into text block.
  3. Include titles of statements or any other necessary information; if any, into the body of text block instead of headers and footers, as headers and footers will be removed on saving of text block.
  4. On importing of AGM FS, majority of the formatting (e.g. page layout) is preserved. Please review the formatting before filing with ACRA to avoid any misalignment and legibility issues.
  5. Save AGM FS from toolbox for review, as this will be the copy available for sale in ACRA iShop to company’s stakeholders.

* Do not include cover page as system will generate a standardized cover page on saving of text block.


‘Open’ function in the BizFinx preparation tool can only open BizFinXBRL FS and not FS Manager XBRL FS, as FS Manager contained user-described fields which cannot be imported.


Perform overwrite with auto-tagging function on primary statements.

Rules repository from previously saved XBRL FS allows for the same elements in current year to be recognised, reducing the efforts needed for tagging.

Auto-tagging will not work on common elements in the XBRL FS (e.g. trade and other receivables available in statement of financial position: current assets and non-current assets).

Drag & Drop

Perform overwrite with drag & drop function for notes (row / cell wise as applicable).
Combined company label

Combined company labels are defined element names separated by “│”.

Upon loading of prior year data, company labels created in prior year will serve as an indication of the make up for current year preparation and for consistency in tagging.   

Footnotes  Footnotes may not be updated, especially when update to current year XBRL FS is done manually. Please check if it is still relevant and accurate. 
Guidance notes  Guidance notes for key elements are available throughout the BizFinx preparation tool, indicated by [i]. 
Independent auditors’ report: Whether there is any true and fair override in financial statements

True and fair override is rare unless FS prepared are not in compliance with the accounting standards.

If the FS are  be true and fair, answer to the question of ‘Whether there is any true and fair override in financial statements’ should be ‘No’.  
Statement of cash flows The minimum requirement list template for “Statement of cash flows” consists of extract line items from the entire statement of cash flows. Accordingly, line items do not have to sum up. 
Note – Property, plant and equipment 
  1. Depreciation items should be entered as positive sign.
  2. Breakdown according to different classes and ordering according to AGM FS is required.
  3. Unhide ‘Company label’ to include naming according to AGM FS.
Text Box functions 
  1. Reorder
    Order of templates should be according to AGM FS
    Example: Default presentation of statement of financial position using current and non-current may not be the same as AGM FS.
  2. Untagged Row
    Hide and unhide untagged rows to facilitate ease of review in review copy.
  3. Freeze Pane
    Freeze and unfreeze pane to facilitate viewing on screen.
    More tool box functions and guidance are available in the  ‘ Quick Guide of BizFin x  Preparation Tool
  1. Genuine error
    These errors must be rectified (unless exempted).
    Exemption from XBRL filing is not common. Unless companies are able to prove that their AGM FS is unable to adhere to the ACRA taxonomy, companies are required to file according to filing requirements.
  2. Possible error
    These errors are highlighted for attention and may not be errors. Companies are to review and ensure that the errors highlighted are not errors. If the XBRL data contains error, companies should rectify the error. If the XBRL data is checked to be correct (i.e. there is no error), no further action is required.
Continue preparing XBRL FS 

Continue preparation of FS using saved excel FS, instead of importing from XBRL FS

Generate XBRL FS only when all validations have been cleared and ready to be filed.

Copyright © 2019 Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated/ reviewed On 16 Nov 2016