Accounts

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Can the accounting reference date be changed?

You may change it by sending Form AA01 to the Registrar of Companies at Companies House. You must do this during the accounting period affected by the change or during the period allowed for delivering the associated accounts.


How is the accounting reference date set?

The accounting reference date is the date in each year to which accounts will be drawn up. The date depends on the date of incorporation as it isthe last day of the month in which the anniversary of incorporation falls.

For example, if your company is set up 2 July 2010, the accounting reference date will be 31 July 2011.


How long do I have to deliver accounts?

The first accounts of a private company must be delivered:

  • within 9 months of the end of the accounting reference period; or
  • if the accounting reference period is more than 12 months, within 21 months of the date of incorporation, or three months from the end ofthe accounting reference period, whichever is longer.

Late filing penalties for accounts

If your accounts are delivered late, there is an automatic penalty. This is between £150 and £1,500 for a private company and between £750 and £7,500 for a PLC.

In addition, directors may be prosecuted for not filing certain documents.If convicted, they will have a criminal record and be liable for a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence. In some cases, they could also be disqualified from being a company director or taking part in the management of a company for up to five years.


What happens if I don't send the information to Companies House on time?

It is easy to lose confidence in a company that doesn't meet its legal obligations. If you don't tell Companies House about your company's financial state on time, and you don't send in details of changes, anyone wanting to do business with you will not have access to the most up-to-date information about your company. It could cause trading problems or affect your company's credit rating. It could even stop a potential investor from putting money into your company, or prevent you from getting a loan when you need it.

If your accounts are delivered late, there is an automatic penalty. This is between £150 and £1,500 for a private company and between £750 and £7,500 for a PLC.

In addition, directors may be prosecuted for not filing certain documents.If convicted, they will have a criminal record and be liable for a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence. In some cases, they could also be disqualified from being a company director or taking part in the management of a company for up to five years.


What period should the accounts cover?

A company's first accounts must start on the day of incorporation. The first financial year must end on the 'accounting reference date' or a date up to seven days either side of this date. Subsequent accounts start on the day following the year-end date of the previous accounts. They end on the next 'accounting reference date' or a date up to seven days either side.


Where can we obtain Inland Revenue information?

Your Accountant is probably your best source together with the Inland Revenue Service; The Inland Revenue will automatically post you a registration form after you register your company.

 
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