Small companies and LLPs currently have three options when it comes to filing their statutory accounts; file full accounts, remove the directors’/members’ report and/or the profit and loss account from the full accounts and file the rest (abridged accounts), or file abbreviated accounts.
The abbreviated accounts option is by far the most popular, and allows a small company or LLP to prepare full accounts for its members, but then file abbreviated accounts with Companies House. These contain no directors’/members’ report or profit and loss account, the balance sheet is less detailed, and only a small number of notes are required (mainly the accounting policies and fixed assets notes).
Earlier this year the Government approved new regulations removing the abbreviated accounts option for small and medium-sized entities. Instead, they will need to file the version of the accounts as prepared for their members, although small entities will still be able to remove the profit and loss account and/ or the directors’/members’ report.
The regulations also permit the accounts for the members to include an abridged profit and loss account or balance sheet, provided a statement is filed with Companies House confirming that the members consent to this.
The change will come into effect for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2016, although early adoption is permitted.
FREE COMPANIES HOUSE DOWNLOADS
Those of you that have paid to download information from Companies House in the past might be interested to know that Companies House have recently introduced a new public beta search service on its website, meaning that all public data held on the UK register of companies is now accessible free of charge.
This includes copies of filed accounts, annual returns and other forms dating back as far as 1995. Documents more than 20 years old are available for a fee of £3.