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Company accounts

Company Accounts

All companies registered under the Companies Act of 2006 have to follow certain norms and regulations while preparing and filing their accounts reports to the Companies House. We have tried to summarize a brief guideline for all companies who want a ready reference guide in drafting accounts reports.

There are no exceptions to the accounts filing rules; each and every company whether limited or unlimited, functional or dormant must maintain accounting records for the benefit of its members and of the Companies House. Not all companies have to deliver their accounts reports to the Companies House though. For Limited and Public Limited Companies it is a must, but small, medium-sized, and dormant companies can choose to submit only ‘abbreviated company accounts’ reports to the Companies House. Unlimited Companies do not normally have to submit company accounts. However, in certain cases, the Unlimited Companies must deliver their accounts reports to the Registrar. Please go through the companies act for more information about the rules.

The Company Accounts that has to be submitted must include profit and loss statements, a balance sheet signed by the director of the company, an auditors report duly signed by the appointed auditor when appropriate, a directors’ report signed by the director or the Secretary of the company, and group company accounts when appropriate. Accounting Reference Period is the time period that the Company Accounts must cover. For the first company accounts the accounting reference period begins with the date of its inception and ends on the Accounting Reference Date (ARD). Subsequent Accounting Reference Periods start on the day after the end of the previous Accounting Reference Period and end on the ARD.
The Companies Act allows for delays in the submission of the Company Accounts, for instance if it is not the first accounts a private company can submit their accounts within 10 months from their Accounting Reference Date (ARD), and a public company can delay their Accounts Reports by 7 months. For different situations the time allowed for delays in submission can be different, please go through the Companies Act for further clarification. It is important to note though that when the law allows companies to delay their Accounts by a certain amount of months after their ARD the deadline becomes the same date as their ARD in the corresponding month.

By filing an application (Form No: 244) with the Companies House, this time period that has been normally allowed by the Companies Act can be extended. However, on failing to meet a deadline for the submission of Company Accounts a company becomes liable to automatic civil penalties depending upon the length of the delay. For a period of three months the penalty can be in the range of £500.00 and for a period of more than 12 months the penalty can be as high as £5000.00.

Again, you must be aware that if a filing deadline is on a holiday or a Sunday, the law still requires for you to submit within the deadline. Also, the Companies House can reject a Company Accounts for it being unacceptable, in which case you have to submit an acceptable copy within 14 days of rejection. Failing which the law assumes that Company Accounts have not been submitted and may levy the relevant penalties. The company directors and often the members are responsible to the law for the submission of Company Accounts and may be prosecuted for the same.

You should be aware that all documents you send to the Companies House are scanned and made available online for public searches.



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