New Companies House filing options explained
Following the abolition of abbreviated accounts for accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2016, small companies, not including micro-entities, should now refer to Section 444 of the Companies Act 2006 for their new filing options.
Below is a summary of the key points of the various filing options available for small companies seeking to reduce the amount of information placed on public record.
The following company filing options are available under s444:
- Small company filing unaudited and unabridged accounts in accordance with s444 of the Companies Act 2006.
- Small company filing audited and unabridged accounts in accordance with s444 of the Companies Act 2006.
- Small company filing unaudited and abridged accounts in accordance with s444 of the Companies Act 2006.
- Small company filing audited and abridged accounts in accordance with s444 of the Companies Act 2006.
Detailed guidance on each of the above points and the requirements under each of the four filing options can be found in our small company filing guidance.
Please note that abridged accounts are not the same as abbreviated accounts. Abridged accounts allow a company to include only certain line items in the abridged profit and loss account and abridged balance sheet and require pre-consent from shareholders.
Summary of key filing requirements
Under s444 a small company can now take advantage of the exemption available to exclude the directors’ report and/or profit and loss account from the information submitted to Companies House. If either, or both, of these reports is excluded, specific disclosures are required in the balance sheet, which must still be submitted.
The special auditor’s report on abbreviated accounts has also been removed. The filing requirements for small companies subject to audit vary depending on whether the profit and loss account is included in the information being submitted to Companies House.
If the company’s profit and loss account is included in the accounts submitted for filing at Companies House, the auditor’s report should also be included in these accounts.
If no profit and loss account is filed, the notes to the balance sheet should contain information in relation to the audit including whether the auditor’s report was qualified or unqualified, the basis of any qualification, details of any emphasis of matter and the name of the auditor.
Section 444 of the Companies Act 2006 applies regardless of the reporting framework that the company has applied i.e. UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).