What exactly is a Statutory Audit in Singapore, and why is it obligatory? According to the Singapore Companies Act, unexempted private limited companies in Singapore are mandated to undergo an annual Statutory Audit. During this process, licensed auditors or practicing public accountants scrutinize the company's financial statements.
Statutory audits are essential as they provide an impartial assessment of a company's financial statements, ensuring they depict the company's financial position accurately and fairly. This transparency boosts stakeholders' trust in financial reporting and aids in making informed investment choices.
Which companies in Singapore need auditing? Private companies are generally audited, except for companies that qualify for the “Small Company” concept as prescribed by the Companies Act. However, if a company violates financial statement regulations, ACRA may audit them even if exempted.
Companies are exempt from statutory audits in Singapore only if they fall under the categories of "Small Company" or "Small Group." Here are the requirements for both:
Small Company Audit Exemption:
As per the Singapore Companies Act, a company qualifies as a "small company" if it meets at least two of the following criteria:
1. Total annual revenue of $10 million or less
2. Total gross assets of $10 million or less at the end of the financial year
3. 50 employees or fewer at the end of the financial year
Small Group Company Audit Exemption:
For a group to be considered a "small group" and be exempt from annual audits, the following conditions must be met:
1. The holding and all subsidiary companies individually fulfill at least two of the small company qualifying conditions
2. The group meets at least two of the following criteria on a consolidated basis (Parent + Subsidiaries) within the last two consecutive financial years:
- Total annual consolidated revenue of $10 million or less
- Total gross consolidated assets of $10 million or less
- The total number of 50 employees or fewer.
These are the audit requirements for private companies:
1. Appointment of Auditors:
- Private companies must appoint at least one auditor within three months of incorporation.
- Auditors must be public accountants or ACRA-registered accounting firms.
- The auditor serves until the first annual general meeting, where they can be retained or replaced.
2. Role of Auditors:
- Auditors prepare Audited Financial Statements, including balance sheets and income statements.
- Their role includes expressing an opinion on the financial statements' accuracy, ensuring compliance with local and international standards, and accessing company records for thorough audits.
3. Auditor Remuneration:
- Auditors are compensated under the Companies Act, with fees negotiated between clients and audit firms.
- Auditor remuneration disclosure is mandatory if shareholders request it.
What Happens If an Auditor Resigns or is Removed?
- A new auditor must be appointed if the previous one resigns or is removed.
- If a previous auditor is removed, the company must inform them, hold a meeting, and appoint a new auditor approved by at least three-fourths of attendees.
- If the previous auditor resigns, the company must appoint a new auditor within three months and notify the Registrar within 14 days of the appointment's approval at the General Meeting.
A statutory audit in Singapore is a legal requirement for certain types of businesses to ensure compliance with local regulations and to provide stakeholders with accurate and reliable financial statements. Our audit process follows these steps:
Appoint Dexin Assurance as a statutory auditor with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
Develop an audit plan that outlines the objectives, procedures, and timelines for the audit.
Assess the inherent and control risks associated with the company's financial statements. This includes identifying areas that may require special attention during the audit.
The audit team performs audit procedures, such as substantive testing and compliance testing, to verify the accuracy and completeness of the financial statements. Auditors collect sufficient and appropriate audit evidence to support our conclusions. This may involve examining financial records, conducting interviews, and performing other audit procedures. Auditors evaluate the company's internal controls and assess their effectiveness in preventing and detecting fraud or errors.
Review the company's financial statements and ensure they comply with Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS).
After completing the audit procedures, we will issue an audit report. The audit opinion may be unqualified (clean opinion), qualified (with exceptions), adverse, or disclaimer of opinion, depending on the findings and compliance with accounting standards.
The audit report is presented to the shareholders during the annual general meeting (AGM). A copy is also submitted to ACRA along with the company's annual financial statements.