The Companies Act 2006 - Accounts and Reports Q&A

Q. When will the new Act's requirements on accounts / reports come into effect?

A. Generally the requirements on the form and contents of accounts and reports in Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006, and the new regulations to be made under it, will be commenced with effect for accounts and reports beginning on or after 6 April 2008. Accounts and reports for periods beginning before then will continue to be prepared in accordance with the Companies Act 1985.

However, the new business review requirements in section 417 of the Companies Act 2006 will be commenced for reports for financial years beginning on or after 1 October 2007.

Q. Will certain companies still be able to file abbreviated accounts?

A. Yes.

Q. Will there be a change to the type of accounts we can file and the statements we have to use?

A. The statements will change but the details have yet to be decided. When the details are agreed they will be available on the Companies House website.

Q. The software that we use (for small companies), in providing accounting services to our clients, refers to the Companies Act 1985 in a number of places in the accounting reports. Our understanding is that the Companies Act 1985 has been superseded and the valid act is the Companies Act 2006. Should our software therefore refer to the 2006 Act and not 1985?

A. The section of the Companies Act 2006 relating to the new requirements for accounts does not come into force until 6th April 2008, and will apply to accounting reference dates beginning on or after that date. Regulations for accounts contents are currently being drafted and are due to be finalised at the end of the year when further guidance will be issued on the statements required.

Q. Do we need to change the s249 statement in our accounts for the changes that come into force on October 2007?

A. No, changes to statements in accounts will only be necessary for accounting periods beginning on or after 6th April 2007, when the accounting provisions under the 2006 Act are implemented.

Q.  What are the changes to the accounts filing dates?

A. The filing dates for accounts will be reduced from 10 months to 9 months for private companies and from 7 months to 6 months for PLCs.

Q.  When will the reduction in the accounts filing dates be introduced?

A. The reduction in the accounts filing deadlines will be introduced for companies with accounting periods beginning on or after 6th April 2008.

Q.  What changes will there be to our accounts?

A. Many of the changes to the accounts have yet to be defined, however for companies with accounting periods beginning 6th April 2008, the filing times for accounts will be shortened to 9 months for private companies and 6 months for public companies.

Q. When will the 10 months for filing our accounts be shortened to 9 months?

A. The shortened filing for accounts will come into force for companies with accounting periods beginning on or after 6th April 2008.

Q.  What are the specific references in the 2006 Act that relate to the shortening of the accounts filing periods, and when are they effective from?

A. Section 442 â��Period allowed for filing accountsâ��, will commence on 6th April 2008. Therefore it will apply to all accounting periods that begin on or after 6th April 2008.

Q.  Will the definition of â��participating interestâ�� in section 260 of the Companies Act 1985 be re-enacted in secondary legislation relating to accounting?

A. Yes. We will restate section 260 CA1985 without modification in the regulations to be made under Part 15 of the CA 2006.

Q.  Do the new provisions relating to false or misleading statements in reports apply to accounts after 20 January, or if the accounting year starts before 20 January, not apply until the issue of the accounts?

A. Section 463 of the Companies Act 2006 (liability for false or misleading statements in reports) does not apply to a directorsâ�� report, directorsâ�� remuneration report or summary financial statement first sent to members and others under section 238 or 251 of the 1985 Act, or Article 246 or 259 of the 1986 Order, before January 2007. So it depends when documents are sent to members, not which financial year they apply to.

Members

Q.  When will it be possible for a company to be relieved from the statutory obligation to allow anyone access to its register of members?

A. Once a company has filed its Annual Return made up to a date after 30 September 2007, it will be subject to the 2006 Actâ��s provisions relating to access to its register of members. This means that:

  • the request for access must include the name and address of the persons seeking access and say what the information is to be used for, whether it will be shared with anyone else and if so, to whom and for what purpose;
  • the company must, within five working days, either comply with the request for access or apply to the court;
  • the court will allow the company not to comply if it is satisfied that the access is not being sought for a proper purpose.


Q. What is a proper purpose for access to a company�s register of members?
It is for the court to determine whether any particular application is for a proper purpose.

A. It is for the court to determine whether any particular application is for a proper purpose

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