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Accounting and accounting rules in Singapore

Accounting Rules

Tax Year
Calendar year (1 Jan to 31 Dec) and referred to as the Year of Assessment (YA). Income assessment for the YA is based upon the income derived from the previous calendar year (or basis year), although IRAS allows for businesses with a non-calendar accounting year end to use the accounting year as a basis year instead.
Accounting Standards
Singapore's prescribed accounting standards ("Singapore Financial Reporting Standards" or SFRS) are aligned with those of the International Accounting Standards Board. The Accounting Standards Council of Singapore (ASC) develop, review, amend and approve accounting standards for use by companies, charities, co-operative societies and general societies. With permission of the securities regulator, public companies may also use IFRS Standards. Foreign companies, whose equity securities have a primary listing in Singapore are required to apply SFRS, IFRS Standards, or US GAAP, while those with a secondary listing are required only to reconcile their financial statements to SFRS, IFRS Standards or US GAAP.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Accounting Reports
Income Tax Returns, Profit and Loss Statements, and Balance sheet.
Publication Requirements
Each company has to produce a profit and loss account as well as a financial balance sheet. Accounting records must be kept for five years following the end of the business year of each transaction. Audited accounts must be filed with ACRA on an annual basis but companies are free to choose their tax year.
A company is required to keep certain records in addition to accounting records, e.g. registers of substantial shareholders, debenture holders, directors’ and chief executive officer’s shareholdings, registrable controllers and nominee directors (if any).

A foreign company is required to file its financial statements, together with the audited financial statements of the branch, within two months of the date of the annual general meeting of the head office, or within seven months from the financial year-end date if the head office is not required to hold an annual general meeting by law in the place of its incorporation.

Professional Accountancy Bodies
Certification and Auditing
Companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organisation. Dormant companies (companies with no significant accounting transactions during the fiscal year) and small companies are exempt from the statutory audit requirements that apply to other companies.

You can consult the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

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Latest Update: July 2024