No matter what country you are in, Filing the annual returns for your company is always a hassle. Even if the company owner is skilled in finance it is never possible for them to look into every single detail of the finance division themselves. Thus, owners always put trust in some professionals, whether it is a permanent employee or a complete department. It is already a set practice that when it comes to accounting you let the professional handle the work. Because it is just not worth it to either do it yourself personally or hire a non-professional to get it done for you. The same is true for ACRA filing in Singapore.
In Singapore, this has gone a step further. Singapore is a very business-friendly country and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) has done a lot to ensure clarity of guidelines. This is led to companies outsourcing their entire finance departments. This is becoming more of a common practice in Singapore. This trend shows that there are truly lots of benefits of outsourcing your entire annual returns filing and other clerical work to Licensed Corporate Service Providers (CSPs). There is a lot of trust in these companies, and for good reason!
Here’s what happens when you outsource ACRA filing in Singapore:
- Cost of accounting gets reduced
- You no longer need to verify and check the qualifications and attitude of your employees in the accounts department
- Experienced workers who perform the same tasks for multiple companies are working on your tasks
- Transfer of worry to the service provider
- Due to the highly competitive market, business owners get the lowest price and the best customer service
- These service providers have more services to offer and they know a current customer is more likely to order more services from the same firm. Thus, the try their absolute best to give you exceptional customer service
- In Business circles, word of mouth spreads fast. Consequently, if some service provider is below par then you find about it soon and the service provider goes out of business very early
- The ecosystem is so developed in Singapore that companies can anticipate your needs and plan to fulfill them. They may even give you timely reminders and mention how they can assist in the process
- As this is the service provider’s bread and butter so they stay updated with the latest legal requirements and financial regulations. You, the business owner need not worry about the latest updates in policies.
- There are a lot of small-scale or highly automated businesses in Singapore. Also, Multinationals have chosen to operate out of Singapore as well. This means that there are service providers of every scale and type and it won’t take long to find the right fit for your needs
While there are pros to outsourcing your ACRA filing in Singapore. No business does this unless it is needed. Not until the owner has an exact understanding of what the service owner does.
ACRA filing in Singapore is mandatory for all companies incorporated in Singapore. They must also specify the date of their Annual General Meeting and the company’s financial statements as per requirements laid out by ACRA.
The basic requirements are very straightforward. You need the company’s name, official address, company type, the primary source of business, and details of its officers.
Also needed are details about shares like the total shares and paid-up capital as well as issued share capital and number of shares issued.
Financial statements if needed must be submitted in XRBL format. This is an international framework to submit financial records and requires a professional who is skilled at this to compile it correctly. Although, not all companies have the same requirements.
The income tax return must be filed separately to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
The ACRA online portal to submit the annual returns is, by now very user friendly and even partially automated. Some data from previous returns is just copied into the new return by the ACRA portal itself for ease of the user.
The financial returns must be tabled at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company’s shareholders. Thus, the AGM must be held annually or within 15 months of the last AGM or earlier.
In Singapore, the system is such that each category of a private limited company has different requirements and it can easily get very confusing. Even for accounting professionals, it may become a hassle if they are not in touch with the latest rules and requirements from ACRA about the Annual return filing.
Thus, it is naturally recommended that business owners outsource this task to CSPs (Corporate Service providers). These are professional firms that specialize in such tasks. They usually the same tasks for multiple companies and hence become very specialized and competent at their work. Add-on the fact that they offer a competitive price. Most companies in Singapore choose to hire them. This enables them to focus on making their companies more profitable.