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AUDIT SERVICES IN SINGAPORE

Audit services in Singapore have great demand because, as a vibrant and dynamic business hub, Singapore requires organizations to maintain the highest standards of financial reporting, transparency, and compliance. A team of trained and experienced auditors at Relin Consultants offers a complete and accurate audit of the financial statements of your business.

The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) recently released a new set of standards. The new laws support a better environment for audit transparency.

According to the new rules, while auditing financial accounts for listed legal organizations, auditors must identify the key audit problems. Furthermore, auditors must confirm if the legal entity they performed the audit for disclosed information in their financial statements that was important to management’s decision-making.

APPOINTING AUDITORS IN A SINGAPORE COMPANY

The appointment of auditors is one of the prerequisites for launching a business in Singapore in order to comply with the requirements of the Company Law. No later than three months after the company was incorporated, the directors must nominate at least one auditor. It’s crucial to keep in mind that only Singaporean accounting firms and public accounting firms can act as auditors for businesses if they have received approval from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). 

The auditor will keep this position during a company’s first year of operation until the first annual general meeting of shareholders. The corporation might then choose to reelect the same auditor or choose a new one. 

Auditors also offer additional services, such as:

  • to provide an honest and accurate overview of the financial performance of the company; 
  • to report if the financial statements of the company follow the financial reporting requirements (local or international);
  • create the auditor report that needs to be included with the financial statements that are shown to shareholders at the annual general meeting.

Singaporean auditors have access to accounting records and other financial data, which enables them to deliver accurate information about the financial position of the organization. Additionally, when conducting the audit, auditors may ask corporate officers for information.

WHAT KINDS OF AUDITS CAN BE CONDUCTED IN SINGAPORE?

  • Internal and External Audits – Internal audits are carried out either in-house or by an outside auditor hired by the organization. They evaluate the efficiency of the company’s internal controls, risk management procedures, and overall governance framework. As opposed to this, external auditors carry out external audits in which they examine the business’s financial statements and activities and provide an unbiased evaluation of their accuracy and compliance.
  • Forensic Audits – Investigations into possible fraud, financial wrongdoing, or other anomalies within a company are done through forensic audits. To find fraudulent activity and gather evidence for potential legal actions, these audits include a thorough investigation of financial records, transactions, and other relevant information.
  • Statutory Audits – Statutory audits are mandated audits that must be performed. Companies in Singapore are typically forced to go through statutory audits if they surpass specified thresholds, such as having a specific amount of income, assets, or shareholders. Statutory audits are performed to confirm that rules and regulations, such as the Companies Act and accounting standards, are being followed.
  • Financial and Tax Audits – The accuracy and completeness of a company’s financial statements are the main focus of financial audits. The balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement are all examined for fairness and reliability. On the contrary, tax authorities undertake audits to examine a company’s tax filings, evaluate conformity with tax regulations, and make sure income, deductions, and tax liabilities are reported accurately.
  • Compliance Audits – Compliance audits assess a company’s compliance with all relevant laws, rules, and industry standards. They make that the business complies with all applicable laws, including those pertaining to labor, the environment, data protection, and certain industries. A compliance audit can point out areas of non-compliance and provide solutions.
  • Operational Audits – Assessing the effectiveness, economy, and efficiency of an organization’s operations is the main goal of operational audits. To find potential for cost-savings, operational hazards, and areas for improvement, they evaluate processes, procedures, and systems. Operational audits seek to boost output, maximize resources, and enhance overall effectiveness.

AUDIT EXEMPTIONS IN SINGAPORE

Private businesses can apply for audit exemptions even if they are not required to conduct audits. In Singapore, there are three main categories for which audit exemptions are available. Which are:

  • Small businesses, 
  • dormant businesses, and 
  • small businesses in a group.

If a company has not engaged in any commercial activity throughout a financial year, it is regarded to be dormant. As a result, they are exempt from having their financial accounts audited or from having an auditor appointed for the applicable fiscal year.

A Singapore company must have been inactive ever since the day it was registered and have remained so since the end of the previous financial year in order to qualify as a dormant company. It is essential to remember that once the first accounting transaction has been recorded, the dormant corporation no longer qualifies as such.

If small businesses can demonstrate that they are a part of a group, they may be granted audit exemptions. The audit exemption is applicable to both parent corporations and local subsidiaries in Singapore. The following guidelines are in effect in order to be considered as such:

  • The group’s consolidated accounts must show a revenue of no more than SGD 10 million, 
  • no more than SGD 10 million in total assets, 
  • no more than 50 employees, and 
  • at least two of the aforementioned requirements must be met for two consecutive fiscal years.

Despite the fact that these companies are exempt from audit requirements, it’s still important to know that the Singapore Trade Register may require them to provide audited financial statements and an auditor’s report.

If you wish to know more about the process, refer to Singapore accounting requirements.

AUDIT REQUIREMENTS FOR BUSINESSES IN SINGAPORE

  • According to Singapore Commercial Law, businesses must appoint an auditor within three months from the date of incorporation.
  • Yearly audits of the Profit and Loss Account and the balance sheet are required.
  • Limited liability companies in Singapore must issue an Estimate of Chargeable Income and submit it to the Inland Revenue Authority.

The Singapore Standard on Auditing contains the documentation that must be prepared for an audit. When talking about the documentation of the audit procedures, the following elements should be taken into account:

  • The procedure’s nature and the size of the company, among other factors, will determine the documentation’s format and content.    
  • The documentation may be kept on paper or electronically and may consist of auditing plans, checklists, letters, analyses, and other things.
  • Drafts of working papers, incomplete financial accounts, and duplicate documents are not acceptable for inclusion by the auditor.
  •  The audit paperwork has been compiled into a final audit file, which is not to be disposed of until the end of the retention term.

Within one month of the annual shareholders meeting, Singaporean corporations must submit their annual returns to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Within 18 months of registration, newly incorporated businesses are obliged to submit their first annual return. The audited accounts for new businesses cannot be older than six months.

GUIDELINES FOR AUDITORS IN SINGAPORE

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) is the governing body responsible for registering public accountants and overseeing audit quality in Singapore. To act as an auditor of financial statements in Singapore, individuals must register as a public accountant with ACRA. Public accountants are accountable for the audit opinion and ensuring compliance with the Singapore Standards on Auditing (SSA) and other relevant regulations.

To register as a public accountant, individuals must meet the following requirements:

  • Possess the prescribed qualification.
  • Have appropriate audit experience.
  • Maintain ongoing professional education.
  • Be a member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA).

PROCESS OF AUDITING IN SINGAPORE

  • Requesting financial records – The auditor typically requests the papers on the preliminary audit checklist after notifying the organization of an upcoming audit. These records could consist of the original bank statements, receipts, ledgers, and a copy of the prior audit report. The auditor may also ask for an organizational chart, copies of board and committee minutes, the bylaws, and the most recent set of regulations.
  • Developing the audit plan – The auditor examines the data in the file and makes preparations for how to carry out the audit. To identify potential issues, a risk workshop might be held. The next step is to develop an audit plan.
  • Setting up a meeting – The auditors then report the audit’s scope in an open meeting to senior management and other important executives. Any scheduling concerns, such as planned leave, are discussed and resolved before the audit begins. It may be necessary to request that the head of the department alert the staff about a potential auditor interview.
  • Visiting the sites – The auditor finalizes the audit plan using the information acquired during the inspections. Later, fieldwork is carried out by speaking with staff members and examining policies and procedures. The auditor checks to see if rules and regulations are being followed. The effectiveness of internal controls is examined. The organization will have a chance to respond when the auditor discusses problems as they come up.
  • Creating reports – The auditor drafts a report outlining the results of the audit. The report lists audit errors along with mathematical mistakes, input issues, approved but unpaid payments, and other issues. The auditor then drafts a report on the audit results and suggests solutions for any issues.
  • Organizing the concluding session – The auditors ask management to respond and state whether they agree or disagree with the report’s findings, as well as the management’s action plan for resolving the issues and the anticipated completion date. The report and management’s response are considered by the parties involved at the closing meeting.

BENEFITS OF USING RELIN CONSULTANTS’ AUDIT SERVICES

  • Expertise and Specialization – Companies can obtain specialist auditors with knowledge of Singapore’s regulatory framework, accounting standards, and industry-specific requirements through outsourcing audit services. Relin consultants ensure top-notch audits by being up-to-date on the most recent changes and best practices.
  • Cost Savings – Compared to keeping an internal audit team, outsourcing audit services can be more affordable. Employers can save money by avoiding the expense of hiring, training, and retaining full-time auditors. Additionally, outsourcing enables companies to minimize expenses by paying for audit services only when they are required.
  • Enhanced Efficiency – To carry out audits effectively, we have streamlined procedures and equipment in place. We have expertise working with a variety of clients, which enables them to carry out audits promptly and efficiently. The impact on the company’s internal resources is reduced by this efficiency.
  • Objective and Independent Perspective – We contribute an unbiased, independent perspective to the auditing process. We provide an unbiased assessment of the financial accounts, internal controls, and legal compliance of the company. This objectivity increases the credibility of the audit evaluations and generates confidence among stakeholders.
  • Risk Mitigation – Relin consultants have experience in detecting potential risks and control gaps. We can assist businesses in locating and addressing areas of vulnerability, helping to establish reliable risk management procedures.
  • Value-Added Insights – We offer insightful analysis and suggestions based on their in-depth knowledge of market trends and financial data. These insights can help businesses in enhancing internal controls, financial management, and operational effectiveness.

Reach out to us at Relin Consultants for further assistance with our audit services in Singapore.

FAQs

What are audit services?

The word “audit services” describes the impartial examination of financial statements, accounting records, internal controls, and legal compliance. The accuracy, reliability, and transparency of financial data are assured by them.

Why do businesses need audit services in Singapore?

For a variety of reasons, businesses in Singapore may need audit services, such as to meet stakeholder expectations, ensure financial transparency, detect risks, and provide trustworthy financial data for decision-making.

What types of audits are available in Singapore?

Financial statement audits, internal audits, compliance audits, operational audits, information systems audits, forensic audits, and special purpose audits are among the audit types frequently carried out in Singapore.

Are all companies in Singapore required to undergo audits?

No, audits are not a requirement for all Singaporean businesses. Small businesses that fit certain requirements, including having an annual turnover and total assets below predetermined levels, may be excluded from required audits.

How do I choose an audit firm in Singapore?

Consider criteria including the business’s reputation, experience in your industry, familiarity with local laws, the qualifications of their auditors, client testimonials and references, the scope of services provided, and cost effectiveness when selecting an audit firm in Singapore.

How long does the audit process typically take?

The size and complexity of the organization, the scope of the audit, and the accessibility of needed documentation are some of the factors that affect the duration of the audit process. Normally, audits take a few weeks to months to finish.

How often do companies in Singapore need to undergo audits?

Singapore generally mandates that businesses undergo annual audits. However, depending on the company’s size, kind, and industry, exemptions and certain regulatory requirements can be applicable.

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