Financial Reporting in Singapore: An Overview


By Clarie Chan

All Singapore incorporated companies are required to prepare financial statements in compliance with the Accounting Standards prescribed by the Companies Act. The Accounting Standards defined under the Companies Act refers to the Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) issued by the Accounting Standards Council (ASC), which includes the Interpretations of Financial Reporting Standards (INT FRS)

The Recommended Accounting Practices (RAPs) prescribed by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) provides guidance in the absence of an FRS or INT FRS. However, the applications of RAPs in financial statements is only recommended, not mandatory. Companies may choose to only state that their financial statements have complied with FRS only.

Besides the Financial Statements, the Directors’ Report, Statement by Directors, and Auditor’s Report (for companies without audit exemption) are also required. The Directors’ Report, Statement by Directors, and Auditor’s Report, are not part of the financial statements.

The Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS) are principally based on the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) of the International Accounting Standards Board. The FRS issued by ASC as of 31 December 2019 are as follows:

FRS 1Presentation of Financial Statements
FRS 2Inventories
FRS 7Statement of Cash Flows
FRS 8Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors
FRS 10Events After the Reporting Period
FRS 12Income Taxes
FRS 16Property, Plant and Equipment
FRS 19Employee Benefits
FRS 20Accounting for Government Grants and Disclosure of Government Assistance
FRS 21The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates
FRS 23Borrowing Costs
FRS 24Related Party Disclosures
FRS 26Accounting and Reporting by Retirement Benefit Plans
FRS 27Separate Financial Statements
FRS 28Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures
FRS 29Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies
FRS 32Financial Instruments: Presentation
FRS 33Earnings per Share
FRS 34Interim Financial Reporting
FRS 36Impairment of Assets
FRS 37Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets
FRS 38Intangible Assets
FRS 39Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement
FRS 40Investment Property
FRS 41Agriculture
FRS 101First-time Adoption of Financial Reporting Standards
FRS 102Share-based Payment
FRS 103Business Combinations
FRS 104Insurance Contracts
FRS 105Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations
FRS 106Exploration for and Evaluation of Mineral Resources
FRS 107Financial Instruments: Disclosures
FRS 108Operating Segments
FRS 109Financial Instruments
FRS 110Consolidated Financial Statements
FRS 111Joint Arrangements
FRS 112Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities
FRS 113Fair Value Measurement
FRS 114Regulatory Deferral Accounts
FRS 115Revenue from Contracts with Customers
FRS 116Leases

Pursuant to FRS 1 (2019), a complete set of “financial statements comprises:

  1. Statement of financial position as at the end of the period;
  2. Statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income for the period;
  3.  Statement of changes in equity for the period;
  4.  Statement of cash flows for the period;
  5.  Notes to financial statements, comprising significant accounting policies and other explanatory information;
  6. Comparative information in respect of the preceding period; and
  7. Statement of financial position as at the beginning of the preceding period when an entity applies an accounting policy retrospectively or makes a retrospective restatement of items in its financial statements, or when it reclassifies items in its financial statements

An entity may use titles for the statements other than those used in this Standard. For example, an entity may use the title ‘Statement of Comprehensive Income’ instead of ‘Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income’.”[1]

FRS 1 (2019) is in effect for financial periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019. All of the aforesaid must be presented in the financial statement to ensure compliance. The Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Comprehensive Income, Statement of Cash Flows, and Statement of Changes in Equity, are collectively known as the “Primary Statements”.

This article is adapted from the book “Corporate Directions: A Comprehensive Guide for Directors of SMEs in Singapore” published by Iconomy Holdings Pte Ltd. ISBN: 978-981-1461-14-9 (E-Book); ISBN: 978-981-1461-13-2 (Paperback)

[1] FRS 1 (2019) Paragraph 10

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