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Companies Act amendments to take effect by Q1 2016 amid delays in website revamp

THE Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) on Wednesday said it will implement the amendments to the Companies Act in two phases, due to delays linked to the revamp of its online business filing portal.

About 40 per cent of the over 200 legislative amendments will take effect in the first phase on July 1, 2015. The second phase is expected to come into effect in the first quarter of 2016.

Some legislative amendments are directly linked to the registration and filing processes in Acra's online business filing and information portal (BizFile), Singapore's accounting body said.

"BizFile is currently undergoing a major revamp, and is now expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016. Technical issues related to the revamp are taking a longer time to resolve than originally anticipated due to the complexity of the BizFile system, which handles close to 400 e-services accounting for more than a million transactions a year."

Companies Act amendments that have no or limited links to BizFile will be effected under the first phase. These include the new provisions which broaden the criteria for exemption from statutory audit for small companies, which will benefit SMEs.

Acra will announce the effective date for, and provide more details on, phase two about two months before the changes are due to take effect.

The amendments to the Companies Act come eight years after a review process began.