If you run a limited company in the UK, you’ll need to meet certain statutory reporting requirements to the tax authorities and Companies House each year. But what exactly does that entail?
In this guide, we break down the basics of statutory reporting for companies, from the contents of your annual accounts to potential penalties for late filing. Here’s what you need to prepare and how to make the process smoother.
Statutory reporting for companies: annual accounts
Companies are legally required to report certain financial information in their annual accounts. Also known as ‘statutory accounts’, these reports provide a comprehensive overview of the company’s financial performance and activity in the last financial year.
Annual accounts must typically include the following:
- a balance sheet
- a profit and loss statement
- notes to the accounts.
Depending on the size of your business, you may also need to include a director’s report and/or an auditor’s report.
Your balance sheet
A balance sheet records the value of a company’s assets, liabilities and equity to provide a snapshot of its financial position at a specific point in time.
Your total assets must always be equal to your liabilities plus equity.
- assets include anything the business owns such as cash or property
- liabilities are any outstanding payments you need to make such as loans or taxes
- equity is the residual value to shareholders after liabilities are settled
It’s important to make sure all the information in your balance sheet is accurate and up to date, as it should be a true reflection of your company’s finances.
Profit and loss account
Another key component of your statutory accounts is the profit and loss (P&L) statement.
While a balance sheet shows your financial position at a specific moment in time, a P&L statement provides a summary of your business’s revenues, costs and expenses over the last financial year.
To create this report, you’ll need to calculate your profits by deducting your total costs from your total revenue.
Notes to the accounts
Finally, your notes to the accounts outline the information presented in your annual accounts, providing the reader with more detail and context. Companies must use this section to explain what accounting principles they have used over the financial year.
Who needs a copy of your annual accounts?
As part of your statutory reporting obligations, you’ll need to provide a copy of your annual accounts to several people, including:
- all company shareholders
- people who can attend company general meetings
- Companies House
- HMRC (as part of your tax return)
When do I need to file?
The deadline for filing your annual accounts with Companies House varies depending on when you established your company.
If you are filing with Companies House for the first time, you must submit your statutory accounts within 21 months after the date the company was founded.
After that, you’ll need to send your annual accounts within 9 months following the end of all subsequent financial years.
What happens if I don’t meet my obligations?
Companies House may issue you with late-filing penalties if you miss the statutory reporting deadline for your annual accounts.
The longer you wait to file your accounts, the more severe these fines are likely to be.
Tips for meeting your statutory reporting requirements
Keep your records up to date
Your records are the backbone of accurate statutory reporting. As a result, keeping them organised and up to date throughout the year can improve accuracy in your annual accounts and minimise year-end stress.
Using cloud-accounting software to stay on top of your books can also make this task much more manageable.
Double-check your calculations
Your statutory reports must accurately reflect your company’s financial performance to comply with regulations. By double-checking your calculations in your annual accounts, you can catch potential errors before they become compliance headaches.
Seek accounting support
Professional guidance can be invaluable when it comes to meeting your reporting requirements. Specialist accountants for limited companies can help you navigate the statutory reporting maze with ease.
At Thomas Barrie, it’s our job to keep you compliant so you can focus on your other duties as a business owner. Our year-end accounts services ensure that you produce accurate and timely annual accounts every financial year.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you with your statutory reporting requirements.