The Companies and Groups (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2015 come into force

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07 Apr, 2015

‘The Companies and Groups (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2015’ (“the Regulations”) which implement the EU Accounting Directive into the UK are now in force.

The European Union published the EU Accounting Directive 2013/34/EU (‘the Directive’) on 26 June 2013, which amended Directive 2006/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directives 78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC. The Directive aims to simplify the accounting requirements for small companies and improves the clarity and comparability of companies' financial statements within the Union.

The Regulations implement Chapters 1-9 of the Directive outlined by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in January 2015.  They are applicable for financial years commencing on or after 1 January 2016 and come into force from 6 April 2015 with early adoption permitted, with one exception, for financial years commencing on or after 1 January 2015.  The exception is that the increased size limits cannot be adopted for the purpose of taking exemption from audit until 2016. This is to allow for time for the Government to consider responses to the questions asked on small company audit exemption as part of its consultation on implementing the EU audit reform legislation.  The requirement for companies to include the full details of subsidiaries in the consolidated financial statements comes into force earlier, being applicable for annual accounts approved on or after 1 July 2015.

These changes only apply to companies and ‘qualifying partnerships’ preparing accounts under the Partnerships (Accounts) Regulations 2008; at present they do not apply to limited liability partnerships. 

The Government has decided that it needs to do more work on the accounting and audit for charitable companies; this work is on-going with the Charity Commission and others.

As a result of the UK implementation of the Directive the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has recently published three financial reporting exposure drafts (FREDs) proposing necessary changes to the existing UK financial reporting framework for small and micro-entities.  The FREDS are consistent with the requirements outlined in the Regulations. The closing date for comments on the FREDs is 30 April 2015.

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