New finance reporting system for easy analysis

New finance reporting system for easy analysis

COMPANIES that file financial statements with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) will switch to a revised system later this year that will make life easier for analysts.

The change will affect about 60,000 firms and centres on what is called the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).

XBRL is used to present business and finance-related documents in a more standardised way that allows for easy analysis and for more efficient comparisons to be made between firms.

The computer "language" was launched here in 2007, but companies have had the option of filing financial statements fully in XBRL or only partially.

That changes in October when they will have to file full XBRL statements. Most filings in the full XBRL are expected to be made next year when the companies' financial year ends.

Having more companies filing in full XBRL will reduce the cost of data analytics and permit more meaningful comparisons across companies in the same industry.

The changes will also allow firms to submit additional information in up to 11 disclosure notes, such as a geographical breakdown of revenue.

Companies can prepare their financial statements offline and save multiple drafts before submitting them via the BizFinx online portal on Acra's website.

Full XBRL has been adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States and Britain's Revenue and Customs department among others.

Acra will provide the preparation tool free and set aside a training fund of $1.8 million for the first year of the revised system's implementation.

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