Financial Reporting & Auditing in Singapore

The Accounting Profession of Singapore

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS) is the national body representing the accounting profession in Singapore. It maintains a register of qualified accountants comprising mainly local graduates. Membership is open to members of the Institutes of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, Australia, Scotland, Ireland and a number of other accounting bodies. Generally, prior to being admitted as a full member, they must attend a week-long pre-admission course. Members are designated as certified public accountants (CPA).

The Public Accountants Board, whose council members are appointed by the Ministry of Finance, licenses and registers accountants who wish to practise. It also handles practice monitoring, disciplinary matters and regulations on professional conduct.

Accounting Records in Singapore

All companies incorporated under the Companies Act are required to maintain books of accounts that sufficiently explain the transactions and financial position of the company.

The books may be kept either at the company’s registered office or at another place the directors think fit. If the books are maintained outside Singapore, sufficient records must be maintained in Singapore to facilitate the preparation and/or audit of financial statements that reflect accurately the company’s financial position.

Sources of Accounting Principles

Financial Periods Commencing before 1 January 2003 The principal source of accounting principles in Singapore, namely Statements of Accounting Standards (SAS) and Interpretation of Statements of Accounting Standards (INT), are issued by ICPAS. These standards are essentially International Accounting Standards (IAS) modified for certain transitional provisions. They provide guidelines on the accounting measurements and disclosure requirements. Businesses may depart from such standards if the standards conflict with disclosure exemptions granted by law. Otherwise, ICPAS may take disciplinary action against any of its members who are in violation of the standards.

Rules on accounting measurements are generally established by SAS and INT. Disclosure requirements are governed by SAS, INT and the Companies Act.

ICPAS is a member of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC). Compliance with IASC standards are not mandatory, but the institute supports the IASC objectives of formulating and publishing standards for observance during presentation of audited financial statements and promoting worldwide acceptance of such standards.

Financial Periods Commencing on or after 1 January 2003 With the implementation of section 37 of the Companies (Amendment) Act 2002, SAS issued by ICPAS will not be used with effect from annual financial periods commencing on or after 1 January 2003. Instead, Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (FRS), issued by the new accounting standards-setting body, the Council on Corporate Disclosure and Governance (CCDG), are now effective. FRS are essentially adopted from International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The previous SAS were adopted from the same set of IFRS (formerly referred to as IAS) but with modification to certain transitional provisions. Consequently, there are differences between FRS and SAS.

Interpretations of Standards are authoritative guidance on the application of the relevant standards. CCDG adopted all international interpretations as Interpretations of FRS (INT FRS) with effect from financial periods beginning on or after 1 January 2003.

Compliance with FRS is a statutory requirement whereby any non-compliance amounts to a breach of the Companies Act by the directors.

Financial Reporting in Singapore

The Companies Act requires that an audited set of financial statements, made up to not more than six months before every Annual General Meeting, is to be presented to the shareholders at the meeting. Generally if a company incorporated in Singapore has one or more subsidiaries, it must prepare consolidated financial statements unless it meets certain criteria as provided for in FRS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements. Currently, financial statements under the Companies Act consist of the balance sheet, income statement together with explanatory notes. With the Companies (Accounting Standards) Regulations 2002 coming into operation for financial periods on or after 1 January 2003, a complete set of financial statements will comprise the balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity, cash flow statement and explanatory notes.

The financial statements must be accompanied by the directors’ and auditors’ reports and by a statement from the directors declaring that the financial statements show a true and fair view and that it is reasonable to believe that the company can reasonably pay its debts as they become due.

Companies which meet specific provisions in the Companies Act may be exempt from having their accounts audited but nevertheless must prepare financial statements that comply with the Companies Act.

Annual Requirements for Companies in Singapore

The Companies Act requires every company, except for those exempted in accordance with the provisions in the Act, to appoint one or more auditors qualified for appointment under the Accountants Act to report on the company’s financial statements. The auditors are to ascertain whether proper books of accounts have been kept and whether the financial statements agree with the company’s records. They will then report on the trueness and fairness of the financial statements to the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.

Audit Exemption Starting with the financial year beginning on or after 15 May 2003, the following companies are no longer required to have their accounts audited. However, they are still required to prepare accounts (and consolidated accounts where applicable) that comply with FRS.

o Small exempt private companies An exempt private company with revenue in a financial year below S$5m is exempted from appointing auditors and from audit requirements. Revenue is defined according to the statutory accounting standards, i.e. the FRS.

o Dormant companies A dormant company is exempted from appointing auditors and from the audit requirements if it has been dormant either (a) from the time of its formation or (b) since the end of the previous financial year. A company is considered dormant during a period in which no accounting transaction occurs, and the company ceases to be dormant on the occurrence of such a transaction. For this purpose, transactions arising from the following are disregarded:

  • Taking of shares in the company by a subscriber to the memorandum
  • Appointment of company secretary
  • Appointment of auditor
  • Maintenance of a registered office
  • Keeping of registers and books
  • Fees, fines or default penalties paid to the Registrar of Companies

Affiliate Marketing – A genuine work from home opportunity?

Recent times have seen a major increase in people looking for work from home opportunities. We have all heard the "buzz words" internet scam and wonders if there really is a genuine home business that allows an individual to earn an income from the security of their own home. Affiliate Marketing is definitely an option to consider.

The basic idea behind Affiliate Marketing is directing prospective customers or "traffic" around the internet to merchants or organizations that have a product to sell. The methods used are quite simple. Each Affiliate marketer operates a website to display banners or links to direct prospective customers to the merchant's website. Each time a sale is made, the merchant pays a commission to the referring affiliate. Therefore, by definition Affiliate Marketing is revenue sharing between merchants with product or information for sale and the online "publishers" or website operators who provide the prospective customers via the links or banners and "sales pitch" text on their web site.

The commission paid varies depending on the company selling the goods and the product being sold. Some merchants offer percentage based agreements; others offer set dollar amounts depending on the value of the product, this form of commission is called "pay per sale". It is possible to earn commission from merchants for prospective sales or leads referred to as "pay per lead" and payments for prospect Buyers simply clicking on your links to a selling organization's site, this is referred to as pay per click.

Many successful affiliate marketers have set up web sites providing information on a specific topic often choosing their "product line" based on a personal interest, hobby or niche market that they have discovered through online research. Once the site is set up with links, banners and topic relevant information, it is simply a matter of promoting the site through advertising on search engines and "optimizing" their site to achieve good natural search engine results. Each time a web surfer clicks through your link or banner then makes a purchase, you collect the commission. You can even earn money while you sleep; how is that for a 24 hour 7 day a week business.

The sky is the limit, once you get your web site up and running, there are actually hundreds of internet companies offering affiliate marketing partnerships, with varied products for sale. One big advantage of affiliate marketing is the ability to promote diverse product lines and develop multiple income streams. The more products you have to sell the more commission you can earn. Affiliate marketing is really an opportunity to earn money with high incentives – the more effort you put in the more you can receive in return.

The key to successful affiliate marketing and learning a genuine income is selecting the right product or opportunity, and following proven information or guidelines that will produce online success and financial reward. If you are looking for a genuine home business opportunity, or just some extra cash, you should definitely consider affiliate marketing. There are genuine work from home opportunities on the internet. Affiliate marketing will require time and effort on your part, however getting started is a fairly simple process. If you are interested in starting your internet home business you can find more information at [http://www.workathomeasy.com].

Contemporary Kitchen Furniture – Points to Remember

When picking out contemporary kitchen furniture there are one or two things everyone should remember to avoid mistakes and an uneven finish to their new kitchen.

Firstly, do not assume you know exactly what contemporary means in relation to kitchen furniture. Do your homework and look at what's out there in terms of modern designs and ideas. You might be surprised at what constituents contemporary furniture and determined that it is not for you after all.

Always think about your kitchen when you're looking around showrooms. It's very easy to let a salesman tell you that particular furniture will look great in your contemporary kitchen, but if he has not seen your kitchen, how does he know? All kitchens are different in terms of light and space and will need different shapes and sizes of furniture to work effectively. Contemporary kitchen furniture is never one size fits all.

Sometimes the most important advice when it comes to picking out furniture for your kitchen is to remain consistent. If you go around picking out different bits and pieces without thinking about how they will go together, you can end up with a very disjointed and awkward looking kitchen.

Contemporary kitchen furniture needs to give off the impression of seamlessness and have clean lines in order to be authentic. This is not to say that your kitchen has a cold and sterile place to work in. You can add warmth and color to your kitchen by using the right materials and accessories.

These are just a few useful tips to help you ensure you get the contemporary kitchen that suits your needs.

Unsecured Business Loans – Start Marching on the Way of Success

Business loans can show you the right way to be adopted when you are sitting idle and dreaming to be successful. Success and money does not come automatically. You would have to put your efforts for that and trying to be a businessman as a part of such ventures will not be a bad idea. If you think that you can manage to have a good businessmen and have a particular idea regarding the field of your business then you should go for it. To start with this new field you can first set up a small business and the unsecured business loans will be perfect for that.

These loans are well known for supporting businessmen by offering small financial helps. Although the offered amount is not so big but still you would find it quite helpful. In fact, these loans will support you in any business activity like:

– Buying the office or the site for the business
– Getting raw materials
– Buying machines
– Hiring man power or
– Arranging other related things

The rates of interest of these loans use to be a bit high. So, you have to be ready to manage that or else you can opt for another loan too. Such suitable loans are easily available in the loan market. In fact, that does look to be a burden as here you will be freed from offering contractual. Without placing any security you can get the loan away.

All those bad credit records that enjoy getting these loans are arrears, defaults, late payment, bankruptcy, CCJs, skipping of installs and IVA. So, there will be no tension for the poor credit holders too. They too can now get the unsecured business loans and set up their own business. In fact, these loans are good for renewing old and dying businesses too.