What does the annual accounts consist of?
The annual accounts consists of 3 smaller reports, specifically the balance sheet, the profit and loss account and the cash flow. The reports must be accompanied by notes which explain the figures further.
However, the specific content and presentation of these notes must meet the criteria set out in the relevant financial reporting standards. Financial reporting standards dictate the format of the reports as well as rules surrounding recognition, measurement and presentation of financial transactions.
Therefore, preparation of the annual accounts starts at the bookkeeping stage. Knowledge around how each transaction is recorded is required to process the bookkeeping correctly.
When is my deadline?
Companies House publishes a list of companies in England and Wales on their website – https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/
Just enter your company number and it will list your company details as well as the annual accounts filing deadline.
I have not started trading; do I need to file accounts?
Yes. In accordance to Companies’ House if your company has had any financial transactions other than what is listed below you will need to file accounts for an active company.
- Filing fees paid to Companies House
- Penalties for late filing of accounts
- Money paid for shares when the company was incorporated
If the only transactions in your company are of those listed above, then you may file dormant accounts.
Can I file the accounts myself?
It is not a legal requirement to file the annual accounts using an accountant.
However, should you choose to file the accounts yourself, you must be familiar with the correct reporting standards and acceptable format.
Can my accounting software prepare my accounts for me?
Yes, some can. However, you need to make sure that the bookkeeping is correct.
Each transaction needs to be categorised correctly, so they end up in the right place on the reports.
What happens if I miss my filing deadline?
Missing your filing deadline incurs the following penalties:
1 Day Late £150
1 Month Late £375
3 Months Late £750
6 Months Late £1,500
The penalty is doubled if your accounts are late 2 years in a row.
You can be fined and your company struck off the register if you do not send Companies House your accounts.