ASC reminds listed firms on international financial reporting rules

Motorists stop at a junction as the Raffles Place financial business district is seen in Singapore on Sept 27, 2016.
Motorists stop at a junction as the Raffles Place financial business district is seen in Singapore on Sept 27, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Singapore companies listed on the Singapore Exchange were reminded of the requirement to follow international standards while reporting on their financials starting Jan 1, 2018 by the Accounting Standards Council (ASC) on Wednesday, as the date for full convergence nears.

ASC had first embraced the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in 2009 and announced the convergence date in May 2014.

Adopting the IFRS - the de facto language for financial reporting around the world - will put Singapore companies in line with other international players.

In a release issued on Wednesday, ASC said the companies in process of issuing equity or debt instruments for listing on SGX could comply with the new framework before the set date, only if in accordance with the listing requirements. 

Other local firms can continue to apply the existing Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS), even after the new rules come into force, the release said.

Studies show that a single global accounting standard for both developing and developed markets, improve comparability and transparency of financial information across different jurisdictions, and reduces costs.

The ASC, an independent accounting standard-setting body, will monitor local and international developments on financial reporting and will conduct a review of the financial reporting frameworks, as necessary, the release said.

Accounting standards in Australia, Malaysia and Canada are already IFRS-compliant. Although the SFRS is closely aligned to IFRS, ASC has made relentless efforts in ensuring that all stakeholders are engaged and grounds are covered before embarking on the route towards convergence.


Correction note: An earlier version of this article said  that listed companies in Singapore were reminded of the requirement to follow international standards while reporting on their financials starting Jan 1, 2018 by the ASC. It has been corrected to say only Singapore companies listed on SGX, and not all listed companies, are required to follow the international standards. In addition, the story was changed to reflect that local firms can continue to  apply SFRS even after new rules come into force, and that adopting the IFRS (and not adapting) will put local companies in line with international players