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Accounting solutions for Service-based businesses in Singapore, 2023 Step by Step Guideline.

Accounting and Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping and accounting are two essential aspects of running a trading company in Singapore. Properly keeping track of your financial records is crucial for making informed business decisions, securing funding, and staying compliant with local regulations. While it may seem daunting to get started, with the right tools and knowledge, you can easily manage your company’s finances. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll take you through the basics of bookkeeping and accounting for trading companies in Singapore.


Top 5 Key Differences in Accounting for Service-Based Businesses vs Trading Companies

Accounting is an essential function for all businesses, regardless of their size, structure, or industry. However, there are significant differences in how businesses in different sectors approach accounting, especially when it comes to service-based businesses and trading companies.


1. Examples of Service-Based Businesses

Service-based businesses primarily provide services to their customers, such as consulting, legal, or accounting services. These businesses generally do not sell physical products, and their revenue is generated through the provision of services. Some examples of service-based businesses include law firms, marketing agencies, and consulting firms.


2. Revenue Recognition for Service-based Businesses

One of the main differences in accounting for service-based businesses is the focus on revenue recognition. Service-based businesses typically recognize revenue when the services are rendered or completed, rather than when they receive payment from the customer. This can create some challenges in tracking revenue and cash flow, especially if there are delays in payment or disputes over-invoicing.


3. Income Statement for Services-based Businesses

Another difference is in the structure of the income statement. Service-based businesses generally have fewer inventory and cost of goods sold accounts, and their income statement focuses on revenue, expenses, and profit or loss. Key expenses for service-based businesses may include salaries and wages, professional fees, rent, and utilities.


4. Pricing for Services-based Businesses

In terms of pricing, service-based businesses may face issues related to time tracking and billing, especially if they offer hourly billing or project-based pricing. They may also have to deal with complex tax laws and regulations in Singapore, especially if they operate in multiple countries. Finally, service-based businesses may face challenges in pricing their services effectively, especially if they are in a highly competitive industry.


5. Accounting Solution for Service-based Businesses

Proper accounting solution is crucial for service-based businesses in Singapore. Failing to manage your finances properly can result in a loss of revenue, financial penalties, and other legal consequences. It is essential to have a good understanding of your business’s financial situation to make informed decisions that will help you achieve your business goals. Proper accounting solutions can also help you identify areas where you can cut costs and increase profits.


Top 4 Must have for your Service-Based Businesses in Singapore

1. Cloud Accounting Software

Cloud accounting software has become increasingly popular among service-based businesses in Singapore. It provides a cost-effective and efficient way to manage financial transactions, generate reports, and collaborate with team members in real-time. Cloud accounting software also allows business owners to access their financial data from anywhere, anytime, as long as they have an internet connection.


2. Bookkeeping Services

Bookkeeping services are essential for service-based businesses in Singapore, especially those with a high volume of transactions. Outsourcing your bookkeeping to a reputable accounting firm such as SOAS can save you time and money, allowing you to focus on growing your business.


3. Tax Services

Tax compliance can be a daunting task for service-based businesses in Singapore. With numerous tax regulations and deadlines to adhere to, it can be easy to make costly mistakes. That is why it is important to engage the services of a qualified tax accountant to help you navigate the tax landscape in Singapore.


4. Financial Reporting

Service-based businesses in Singapore are required to prepare and file financial statements annually. These financial statements must comply with the IRAS depending on the size and nature of the operations of the business.


Top 10 Things to consider for your service-based business in Singapore

1. Keep Accurate Records of All Business Transactions

One of the most critical steps for service-based businesses in Singapore is to keep accurate records of all business transactions. It is important to keep track of all financial transactions, including sales, expenses, and payments, to maintain proper accounting records. This will help you understand your business’s financial health and make informed decisions.


2. Separate Personal and Business Finances

Another crucial step is to separate your personal and business finances. It is important to have a separate bank account for your business to keep track of all financial transactions. This will help you maintain accurate records of all business transactions and make it easier to file your taxes. Separating personal and business finances can also protect your personal assets in case of legal action against your business.


3. Use of Accounting Software

Using accounting software is another essential guideline for service-based businesses in Singapore. Accounting software can help you manage your finances efficiently, save time, and reduce the risk of errors. With accounting software, you can easily track income and expenses, generate financial reports, and manage your taxes. Some popular accounting software for service-based businesses in Singapore includes Xero, Quickbook, and Automa8e.


4. Hire an Accountant or Bookkeeper

Hiring an accountant or bookkeeper can be beneficial for service-based businesses in Singapore. An accountant or bookkeeper can help you manage your finances, provide financial advice, and help you file your taxes correctly. They can also help you identify areas where you can cut costs and increase profits that can be helpful for enhancing productivity and you can focus on growing your business.


5. Implement a Budget

Implementing a budget is another important step for service-based businesses in Singapore. A budget can help you manage your cash flow and plan your expenses. By tracking your expenses against your budget, you can identify areas where you may be overspending and take steps to reduce costs.


6. Track Your Accounts Receivable

Tracking your accounts receivable is crucial for service-based businesses in Singapore. Accounts receivable are the payments that you are owed by your customers, and it is essential to keep track of them to ensure timely payment. Late payments can affect your cash flow and lead to financial difficulties, so it is important to follow up on unpaid invoices promptly.


7. Stay Compliant with Tax Laws

Staying compliant with tax laws is another essential element for service-based businesses in Singapore. Singapore has strict tax laws, and failing to comply with them can result in significant penalties. It is essential to keep accurate records of your financial transactions and file your taxes on time to avoid any legal or financial consequences.


8. Conduct Regular Financial Reviews

Conducting regular financial reviews is important for service-based businesses in Singapore. A financial review can help you identify any financial issues or areas where you can improve. It is essential to review your finances regularly to stay on top of your business’s financial health and make informed decisions.


9. Keep Up with Accounting Standards

Keeping up with accounting standards set by ACRA is crucial for service-based businesses in Singapore. Accounting standards are constantly evolving, and it is important to stay up to date to ensure compliance and accuracy in your financial statements. It is also essential to keep up with any changes in tax laws or regulations that may affect your business.


10. Seek Professional Advice

Finally, it is important to seek professional advice when needed. Running a service-based business in Singapore can be complex, and seeking advice from a professional firm such as SOAS can be quite handy and equally beneficial. It can provide detailed guidance and expertise to help you manage your Accounting for Services based Business, also the business advisory to achieve your business goals.



In conclusion, proper accounting solutions are crucial for service-based businesses in Singapore. By following the steps discussed in this article, you can ensure that your business’s finances are well-managed and organized. Keeping accurate records, separating personal and business finances, using accounting software such as Automa8e, and hiring an accountant or bookkeeper are all essential steps that can help you achieve your business goals. By prioritizing your business’s finances, you can make informed decisions, grow your business, and avoid any legal or financial consequences in Singapore.