Which is an ideal jurisdiction for company incorporation in Asia? Singapore and Hong Kong have been dominant players in the Asian region, vying for the position of “the best place to do business.” But the crucial questions are, which of these jurisdictions have an edge over the other? Is incorporating a business easier in Singapore or in Hong Kong?
Strategic location and attractive tax benefits make Singapore the most preferred location for the overseas companies to set up their business. Various options are – opening up a Branch Office, a Representative Office or a Subsidiary in Toa Payoh . The country also has liberal immigration policies. If the company wants to set up their regional head quarters in Singapore they are also provided with Financial Assistance.
Best Accounting System In Central, SG
A key determinant for setting up a business in Toa Payoh is the tax regime in force. In this regard Singapore boast of being one of the lowest tax jurisdictions in the world. Detailed below is an overview of the tax system and Accounting System in Singapore.
Tax jurisdiction Singapore: Taxes are levied on a territorial principle i.e. companies and individuals are taxed on Singapore sourced income. In addition, the Foreign sourced income (branch profits, dividends, service income, etc.) are taxed when it is remitted or deemed remitted into Singapore unless the income was already subjected to taxes in a jurisdiction with headline tax rates of at least 15%.
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The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore regulate the businesses, public accountants, and the accounting services in Singapore. ACRA, unlike other government regulators, also facilitates for the promotion of these entities.
As a national regulator, ACRA demands strict statutory compliance from these entities. For this reason, Singapore businesses are better off with the assistance of accounting services in Singapore.
Compared to other countries, it is easier, seamless and effortless to open a company in Singapore. Although it depends on individual choices, ACRA advises foreigners to take assistance from external firms offering Singapore company registration services. There are many firms in Singapore offering incorporation services along with many other corporate business services like, accounting, auditing and taxation to different national and international clients.
Accounting Services for Small and Medium Enterprises in Singapore
Singapore's taxation year or the Year of Assessment (YA), starts on 1 January and ends on 31 December. However, in case of many Singapore companies, the end of their financial year does not coincide with stipulated date, i.e., 31 December.
These business entities still have to complete their financial reporting and tax filing, as per the due dates issued by ACRA and IRAS (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore). They need to host an annual general meeting and table their financial statements for the review and approval of their shareholders.
Genuine and accredited accounting firms in Singapore assist its clients to maintain their books of accounts, by offering their flawless and punctual bookkeeping services. These firms ensure that each and every financial transaction is entered and accounted for. These firms also offer preparation of bank reconciliation, XBRL, and directors' reports, along with the financial analysis on weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
The well-known CPA firms, while preparing the financial statements of clients prepare a balance sheet, profit and loss statement and cash flow statement. The 'books of account' maintained by the client, plays a major role in preparing these statements. Most of the entries and inputs in these statements are retrieved from what is found in the client's books of accounts. These financial documents are prepared in compliance with the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS). In addition to that, different types of transactions are treated as per the set principles and governing practices of the governing bodies.
In order to offer unmatched and high-quality accounting and auditing services to the clients, firms offering accounting services employ only experienced and certified auditors. These professionals are trained to structure their auditing reports on the data contained in the books of accounts, submitted by clients for inspection. After the auditing reports are prepared and authenticated by the prime service provider, these reports are submitted to shareholders, investors, employees, management and the government regulators for analysis and approval. A comprehensive auditing report serves as a definitive medium for the client, to take speculative decisions about the future course of their business. Therefore, preparing such report, from a well-known and qualified audit firm in Singapore is much more necessary.
After understanding the importance and necessity of well-structured audit report, business management proceeds to hire an external auditing firm for conducting internal audits of their company. The reports generated, allow them an insight into the effectiveness of processes, internal checks and methods that are in place in the organization. On the other hand, the shareholders of the company are also empowered to hire audit services in Singapore, for conducting parallel external audits for them.
The meticulously prepared financial reports are essential for gauging the financial health of a company. These reports also reveal its weaknesses and help the management in taking preventive measures against them. Remember, apart from exempted companies, every single Singapore business must file their financial statements with the ACRA.
It is the duty of the corporate business services firms based in Singapore to advise and help their clients with accurate Singapore tax filing. ACRA specifically mandates; that it is a duty of the business service-providing firm to educate and advise its clients on GST registration in Singapore, GST filing, ECI filing, Withholding tax and other taxes. Most importantly, it assists the client in the careful preparation of its corporate income tax.
The CPA's working at these firms usually takes into account the tax rebates, incentives, deductions and exemptions that client qualifies for, to incorporate those relevant details in the financial statements. The firm also assists Singapore businesses in complying with the ACRA's XBRL filing requirements, by converting their business data into the XBRL format.
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A lot of people who do not understand business will tend to ignore accounting of the business. So why use accounting or accountancy for business?
I have a close friend (with an accounting background) who is married to a man who sells computer components and DIY desktops. She was working in an events management company at first, but because their marriage was on the rocks, she decided to resign from her job to help out with her husband's business.
At first, the computer business was getting less than 20,000 dollars profit per month, but since her entry into the business, the profit began to grow monthly. It eventually exceeded 300,000 dollars profit within her first year of taking over the business. When I asked her how she did it, she answered that all she did was to make sure the accounts was recorded daily. She also ensured that costs were kept under tight control.
Most important of all was that the husband / wife relationship grew as well.
My friend's story taught me a lesson. In running the day-to-day operations of a business, it is necessary to keep track and document all your income and expenses. If marketing and sales activities are always the top priority in any business, then accounting and bookkeeping statements will come as the second most important element.
I have been reading books about entrepreneurs outsourcing accountants and bookkeepers for their business transactions, and this decision has given them a great amount of extra time to focus on the marketing and sales aspects of the business.
Do not even try to Do-It-Yourself by getting accounting software especially so if you do not understand accounting. Even if you do understand accounting, you will not be able to focus on growing you business.
By engaging an outsourced accounting or bookkeeping firm, you will be able to cut down a lot of your costs. At the same time, a third party outsourced firm will be able to verify your business transactions for the whole work year, thus further decreasing the cost in auditing services.
Always have the attitude of outsourcing and not the DIY mentality. While we must try to be an all-rounder in our business, we must also acknowledge the fact that we are not always able to do everything. Instead, delegate tasks that are not directly generating in income to the business.
This is the new generation of doing business - knowing where exactly costs can be easily reduced.
In summary, if you do not take the time to properly analyse your accounts, you will be unable to assess how your business is doing.
With proper bookkeeping to ensure that every transaction is properly filed, you can be assured that generating a quarterly profit/ loss statement and monthly cash-flow statement will be easy and most important of all, accurate and up-to-date.