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Company accounts: a September to remember

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September has some important dates for your diary.

The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance takes place on 10 September. The Horn Dancers comprising 6 deer-men, a Fool, hobby horse, bowman and Maid Marian, collect the horns from the church at 8am, before performing their dance at locations throughout the village.

Accompanied by music from a melodeon player, the 2 teams of 3 men dance towards each other as if to lock horns and then retreat. After doing this several times, they pass each other, turn and start again. This annual event attracts visitors from around the world.

If dancing isn’t for you, but pulling faces is, then the world gurning championships is more your thing.

The championships take place at the Egremont Crab Fair on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 September. The current holder Adrian Zivelonghi will be attempting to retain his crown for the third year running. I’m not too sure how you enter but if you think you have the look, get in touch with them.

Our peak filing

September is also one of the busiest months for us at Companies House. Many companies will have an accounting reference period which ends on the last day of the year. This means the last day to file their accounts is 30 September.

Every company must keep accounting records. These must contain:

  • entries showing all money received and expended by the company
  • a record of the assets and liabilities of the company

Also, if your company’s business involves dealing in goods, the records must contain:

  • statements of stock held by the company at the end of each financial year
  • all statements of stock takings from which you have taken or prepared any statements of stock
  • statements of all goods sold and purchased, other than by ordinary retail trade

If you’re not sure when your accounts are due, you can check your accounting reference period and filing date on our Companies House Service. One of our earlier blogs gives more information about accounting reference dates and periods.

Every company must prepare accounts that report on the performance and activities of the company during the financial year, even if you’re dormant.

File online and on time

The easiest way to file your accounts is online. To use our online filing service, you’ll need your authentication code. If you’ve lost or cannot remember your code, you can request a new one.

We can only send it by post to the company’s registered office, so allow up to 5 days for it to arrive.

Of course, if you’re employing an accountant, all these tasks will be done for you. But, it might be worth checking that all is in hand. Ultimately, it’s the director’s responsibility to make sure the company’s accounts are filed on time.

Remember, it’s the date that you deliver acceptable accounts to Companies House (which meet all the relevant legal requirements), not the date that you sent the accounts. If your filing deadline falls on a Sunday or Bank Holiday, you’re still required by law to file accounts by that date.

Failure to deliver accounts on time is a criminal offence. In addition, the law imposes a civil penalty for late filing of accounts on the company. The amount of the penalty depends on how late the accounts arrive and whether the company is private or public.

So, remember: do not leave your accounts to the last minute and risk getting a late filing penalty... or you’ll stand a good chance in the gurning championships.

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