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Company Formation

Change of Accounting Reference Date

What is accounting reference date?

A company accounting reference date (also known as company’s year-end) is the date in each year to which a company's financial accounts are prepared. This date usually ends at the end of a particular month. Every company has an accounting reference date. You have to inform Companies House ahead of any change to the date. You can change your company’s accounting reference date to make your company’s financial year run for more or less than 12 months.

Fines and penalties are automatically incurred when incorrect accounts are sent and this results in the correct accounts not being received at Companies House on time. Also, the Registrar of Companies will not accept accounts that relate to a period for which they do not hold on their file.

The rules on changing your accounting reference date

You can shorten your company’s financial year as many times as you like - the minimum period you can shorten it by is 1 day.

You can lengthen your company’s financial year:

To a maximum of 18 months, or longer if your company’s in administration Once every 5 years

You can only lengthen the financial year more often than every 5 years if:

The company’s in administration You’re aligning dates with a subsidiary or parent company You have special permission from Companies House

You can’t change your company’s accounting reference date when its accounts are overdue.


Change of accounting reference date
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