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Newsflash – Joint regulators statement for companies, auditors and users of financial accounts on reporting timetables

January 2021

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have today published updated guidance for companies and auditors to ensure high quality financial information continues to flow to users to support decision-making.

Issuing the statement, the FRC’s Executive Director of Regulatory Standards, Mark Babington said:

As the busiest period of the year for the preparation and audit of financial accounts approaches, it is paramount that investors and users of financial information continue to receive high quality financial information. 

While companies and auditors face increased challenges in preparing their accounts, the joint measures allow for additional time to ensure high quality reporting. 

Companies, auditors and investors should familiarise themselves with the latest guidance during these uncertain times to ensure they are managing reporting frameworks and stakeholder expectations appropriately.

The FCA and FRC encourage all stakeholders, including in particular boards of listed companies, to re-familiarise themselves with the measures which have been put in place. As a reminder these are as follows:

Corporate Reporting for listed companies
Temporary reliefs for delayed publication of financial statements will remain in place until the disruption abates. Companies will be given plenty of notice when it is decided to bring any of these measures to an end.

  • An additional two months to publish annual financial reports (i.e. within six rather than four months of the financial year end date).
  • An additional month to publish half yearly financial reports (i.e. within four rather than three months of the financial half year end date).

Corporate Reporting for AIM companies
The London Stock Exchange has also confirmed that the temporary measures put in place last year to allow AIM companies to request an extension of their reporting deadline remain available for until further notice of an orderly transition back to standard reporting periods.

  • An additional three months to publish the annual audited accounts (i.e. within nine rather six months of the financial year end date).
  • An additional month to publish its half yearly report (i.e. within four months rather than three months of the financial half year date).

See this edition of Inside AIM for full details.

Extended period for filing accounts at Companies House
At present the deadline for filing any accounts with Companies House is extended by 3 months. While this automatic extension expires on 5 April 2021, it will be replaced with an application process to Companies House, with companies granted a discretionary 3-month extension where they cite coronavirus as a factor impacting the timely completion and/or audit of accounts. 

Delaying or adapting AGMs
The temporary ability to postpone AGMs provided by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA) expired on 30 September 2020. Further CIGA measures to provide flexibilities around the conduct of AGMs have been extended to 30 March. Unfortunately, the Act provides no scope to extend them beyond that date. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is working with stakeholders on further guidance.

The FRC and FCA joint statement is available in full here.

Our library of governance publications is available to help you at www.deloitte.co.uk/governancelibrary.

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