SSM Implements Online Tool


Preliminary comments:

Many companies have been providing corporate information to Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) through the use of hardcopies for many years. In turn, this has resulted in certain information being rekeyed into a database by SSM. Alternatively, there has been the conversion of the hardcopies of the corporate information into pdf format, in particular the financial statements of companies.

Any party seeking to obtain corporate information regarding any company in question would then have to acquire the said information as provided by SSM, some of which are as follows:

a)  Company profile:

It contains basic information of a company, (e.g. company name, company number, incorporation date, company type, company status, registered address, business address and nature of business), share capital, directors/officers, shareholders, charges (if any) and financial information

  Financial comparison:

This relates to comparative information on the audited financial statements of a company. Time period of comparisons cover for 2 years, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. However, the data provided are still regarded as brief / salient financial information.

  Certified true copy of documents

Members of the public can acquire certified document that has been scanned (imaged) in respect of the documents lodged to SSM

  Other information

      Particulars of Information such as:

      1.  Directors/Officers
      2.  Registered Address
      3.  Share Capital
      4.  Shareholder
      5.  Company Secretary
      6.  Auditor
      7.  Company Charges

The general and oft-quoted complaint is that much of the data is always re-extracted’ by the members of the public or third-party, thus necessitating the rekeying of such data into another database or Excel and so on.

On-line tool:

To address the abovementioned complaint, SSM decided to implement an online tool that allows for all companies in Malaysia to submit their financial statements and reports, and annual returns in digital format. 

This can result in time and cost savings for many companies in terms of document submissions as there would be:

a)  Avoidance of long queue to submit hardcopy documents
b)  Time spent waiting
c) Improved convenience for companies and the company secretaries as submission can be done online – anytime and any day.

In turn, third party obtaining such information would then be in a position to avoid the  stress of having to:

a)  Download the pdf files, for instance
b)  Review page by page the downloaded pdf files, either by way of reprinting into hardcopy or reading it on the computer screen
c)  Re-extract and re-key in information into a database or Excel
The benefits of such online tool is further explained in the next section of this writeup.

The online tool in question is the Malaysian Business Reporting System (MBRS) that is essentially XBRL reporting tool. XBRL is the acronym for Extensible Business Reporting Language.

Benefits of MBRS:

The many benefits of the new reporting system include the following:

1.  It reduces the time and cost of gathering financial and non-financial information. It can save time on data entry efforts or conversion of data formatting

2.  The information available can be translated to multiple languages.

3.  The business community and users can be assured as the system enhances data integrity and reliability. This is because the tool contains validity check and cross checks between related cells, automated calculations and many others that allow for the elimination of many errors.

4.  It also facilitates the analysis of financial reporting for better decision making by stakeholders

5.  It enhances the ability of companies to ensure better / improved compliance with the Companies Act or the accounting standards

6.  MBRS would also allow for an improved data analysis and quality.

Final comments:

Companies cannot avoid the fact that every facet of business is quickly being digitalized, whether it is related to front-end or back-end processes, dealings with third parties or submissions to various regulators or bodies (e.g. EPF, SOCSO, tax submissions).

Accordingly, it was only a matter of time before the submission of Annual Returns and Financial Statement and Reports follow along the same line. Readers would therefore find it necessary to familiarize themselves with the tools and the online filing requirements, and together, the business community and every other stakeholder would be able to enjoy the benefits that would accrue upon the successful implementation of MBRS.

Future articles:
1.  Brief on XBRL
2.  Filling requirements under MBRS