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Companies (Accounting) Bill 2016 

The Companies (Accounting) Bill 2016 and explanatory memorandum has just been published on the Oireachtas website.

No timetable has been published in relation to the legislative process to finalise the Bill into an Act and make its provisions effective in law. As the Dáil has adjourned until Tuesday 27 September 2016 this Bill will not advance further in the immediate future. We are hopeful that the Bill will be dealt with in short order thereafter so that reporters will have certainty as to the accounting provisions in law that impact on them for at least their 2016 annual reports.

The bill transposes the EU Accounting directive which was required to be in Irish law by 20 July 2015 and fixes a few of the provisions in the Companies Act 2014 which are not working as intended.

Salient features of this Bill of 161 pages include:-

  • Reduction in the disclosures required for the annual reports of small companies including an exemption from the business review in the directors’ report;
  • Introduction of a specific reporting regime for micro companies including exempting micro companies from disclosing directors’ remuneration;
  • A significant increase in the size thresholds for small and medium companies to the maxima allowed by the EU Accounting directive. The thresholds by company size in the Bill with the current thresholds where different in red are:
  • More companies with subsidiaries will be required to produce group financial statements as the exemption on the grounds of size is to be confined to micro and small companies;
  • Medium size companies are to be required to file the full shareholders’ financial statement without any abridgement;
  • The scope for unlimited companies to avoid filing financial statements is much reduced. The Bill amends certain definitions in this regard and refers to unlimited companies where the “ultimate beneficial owners enjoy the protection of limited liability”;
  • Investment companies (including certain UCITS investment companies formed under the Companies Act) will be required to file annually their directors’ report and financial statements with the CRO; and
  • Certain companies active in the mining, extractive and logging industries will be required to file in the CRO reports of payments to Governments on an annual basis.

Feel free to share this to any colleagues who might have an interest in this matter. However do remember that until the Bill has passed through the legislative process, been signed by the President and commenced to take legal effect, the old law still applies.

If you have further questions, please do get in touch with your usual Deloitte contact or with our national director of financial reporting Oliver Holt at oliverholt@deloitte.ie

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