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

Local Internet Advertising Can Be Your Best Friend

Advertising online for a business is no longer the wave of the future. The future is now. Online exposures an industry to thousands of people with the click of a button. Most people will see a company's name on the web faster than anywhere in the advertising marketplace. Online has a variety of different advertising methods that one can utilize. There are national sites, as well as local sites. Free listings, paid ads, text, pictures, blogs, and pop ups are just a few methods. One can spend as much money or as little money, as they want to on promotional campaigns.

The type of business needing advertisements can help determine which sites to display. For example, when selling cars, a good placement is a website that sells auto parts or auto insurance. Any site connected to automobiles, including parts, service, or information is a good target site.

Public blog sites are an option that gets many hits. Place blogs about the company on public websites. There are local blog sites as well as national ones. Companies can also create their own blog page to boost content, links and visibility. A smaller business is well-suited to advertising online locally to reach the public sector they wish to reach. There is no need to advertise nationally without the business operates nationwide.

A key to advertising local online is to use search engine optimization (SEO). This is a method of taking the words a person may use in a search, and applying them to the advertisement text. The more search words used in the advertisement, the more people that will hit on the targeted site. If the desire is local advertising, add the preferred location so it will appear on a local search.

Utilize all the free listings, and place as many free ads as possible. The more times a business manages to place a listing, the higher it will rank. This ranking determinates in what order the site will come up compared to others when a search is launched.

Every company also needs a web page. Create one, even if it is only one page. The more colorful and graphic the page is, the more attention it will draw. Anytime a business places an ad, a picture should accompany the text if possible. Use photos that promote the business, but will also grab attention. It will not matter what the text says, unless the public is enticed to read it. Keyword research and careful selection of terms will help target potential clients. Learn to grab public attention, and the rest will follow.

Hip Hop Culture and the Rise of Bling

Hip Hop culture has added a variety of terms, fashion trends, music styles and even personalities to the culture at large. Nothing has captured public interest more than “Bling.” The late 1990′s first saw “Bing” come into the general vocabulary. Bling, originally used in several different rap songs of the time, was coined to describe elaborate jewelry and personal accessories that show that the wearer has taste, talent, and lots of cash.

Hip Hop culture has had a tremendous impact on fashion in general, well beyond the world of Hip Hop. Much of what is “cool” today originally derived from the world of Hip Hop. Jewelry has been particularly impacted by Hip Hop.

Bling is now more commonly used to refer specifically to flashy types of jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, watches, body jewelry, rings and grillz (braces and caps for the teeth). Of course it can also include other accessories such as cell phones or even jeweled glasses or purses. Bling is commonly associated with diamonds and other precious gems, and precious metal such as gold and platinum. This term has become so universally accepted it was actually added to Webster’s Dictionary in 2002.

Hip Hop has made ornate jewelry as prevalent for men as for women. The popularity of Hip Hop culture and bling has drawn a lot more attention to larger pieces of jewelry that are selected to become the center of focus, not to just add to the overall outfit. Hip Hop artists can be seen on music videos sporting huge link chains in gold and platinum with large diamond and gem-encrusted pendants. The designs are specifically designed for men, with heavier weight and larger scale.

Bling is big, bling is flashy, and bling is meant to impress. It is meant to symbolize success. The use of various symbols including dollar signs, ornate crosses and other religious symbols, gambling symbols, and even different breeds of dogs and animals are all popular within the Hip Hop jewelry world.

Bracelets and necklaces tend to be very large link or dog collar-type chains, however solid bracelets are also very popular for both men and women. Rings tend to be chunky, wide, and feature multiple small diamond chips or several larger diamonds, either real diamonds or cubic zirconia, depending on your budget, in elaborate patterns and designs. There is a general sense of more is better with regards to wearing Bling. Rarely will you find any piece being worn alone. More typically, pieces are worn in multiples.

Jewelry designers outside the Hip Hop world have integrated the concepts of large, heavy, and flashy elements into their own jewelry lines. Over the last ten years jewelry styles have definitely been impacted by the Bling style, becoming larger, bulkier, and more ornate. You can now find Bling-style jewelry everywhere from fine jewelry designers to department stores. Available Bling jewelry ranges from the high-end, in gold and platinum with genuine gem,s to the more affordable, in sterling silver with simulated gems. Today, everyone can sport a little Bling.

Ways People With No Money Can Make Easy Money Online

If you are reading this article, you are among the millions of people worldwide who are searching for ways people with no money can make easy money online and a better life. How do I know this? Because you have come to the realization that the more money you have, the better life you can create for yourself. If you have enough money you can pay your debts down, buy a home, buy a car, travel, put money away for retirement, save money for your children's college and so much more.

Without plenty of money you might find yourself in debt, following multitudes of bills. Without a reliable source of income you can not take care of your loved ones, feed them well and provide such simple needs as clothing, school materials and and more.

Fortunately there are ways for people with no money can make easy money online. This possibility takes some time and effort, but after learning certain skills a person can make anywhere from an extra $ 5.00 per day to $ 100 or more.

There are several ways for people with no money can make easy money online such as article marketing, classified advertising and forum marketing to name a few. Each of these ways is available to the budding entrepreneur for free; all you need is a starting point or guide. Some ways that people typically start is through such free methods as article marketing, forum marketing and classified advertising. Each of these methods can be very effective at targeting audiences on the Internet and getting them to purchase a product or service.

This is, of course, the next important aspect of making money online. You need a product or service which can be purchased online. There are many places to find products that you can market for free and make a commission on. Some responsibilities are as little as a few dollars, where others might be several hundred of dollars.