S'pore-listed firms to use new accounting standard

Singapore-listed companies must be ready to apply a new financial reporting framework that meets international standards by January 2018.

The move to adopt a single global accounting standard will help increase Singapore's competitiveness, given the importance of having an international benchmark for comparison.

Other Singapore-incorporated companies can continue to apply the existing financial reporting frameworks, including the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards, the Accounting Standards Council said yesterday.

Singapore uses the same financial reporting standards as those in most of the world's major financial markets.

In recent years, the International Accounting Standards Board has issued new benchmarks for financial instruments, revenue and leases. These are aimed at improving the quality of financial reporting.

By January 2018, Singapore will be fully converged with these, which are known as the International Financial Reporting Standards.

That will mean that some companies listed here may need to restate previously reported financial information as they have to comply with specific transition requirements when they apply the new framework for the first time.

This will apply for companies with financial years ending on Dec 31, 2017, for example. They will have to prepare their financial statements commencing Jan 1, 2018 using the new guidelines, but they will also have to restate the results for 2017 so that a meaningful comparison can be made.

CORRECTION NOTE:  A previous version of this article stated that companies will have to restate previously reported financial information as requirements in new framework are often different from standards being applied now. This has been changed. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore-listed firms to use new accounting standard'. Print Edition | Subscribe