FinancesWhat are abridged accounts?

What are abridged accounts?

Each year your business needs to compile its financial accounts and submit these to Companies House. Your company’s year-end accounts will include a range of detailed financial information that helps you and your directors understand the financial health of your business and plan the future. Typically, your full year-end accounts would include a detailed profit & loss statement, a balance sheet, notes on the accounts and a director’s statement.

One government obligation is that you need to submit or file your company accounts each year with Companies House. These accounts are then published and public.

However, for most small companies you not need to file your full year-end accounts and instead you can submit a reduced set of documents – normally called abridged accounts.

Abridged accounts are essentially a condensed version of a company’s full financial statements that require less detailed information. These accounts are typically submitted to the Companies House and consist of a simple balance sheet and notes. Businesses that choose to file abridged accounts are required to provide less information about their operations, making the filing process less daunting.

With abridged accounts, one of the main items you can remove is your company’s net profit – instead only the gross profit is shown. You can also remove debtors and creditor detail from your balance sheet.

What about abbreviated accounts?

The evolution of abridged accounts started with abbreviated accounts – this now outdated company law allowed small businesses to file ‘abbreviated accounts’ that contained only basic information. However, in the Companies, Partnerships and Groups (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2015, these abbreviated accounts were abolished for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016.

This change resulted in the concept of abridged accounts, which although more detailed than abbreviated accounts, still require less information than full accounts.

Differences between abbreviated and abridged accounts

While both abbreviated and abridged accounts are simplified versions of a company’s full accounts, they differ in their level of detail and the period they cover. Abbreviated accounts (which, as mentioned, are no longer in use) were a snapshot of a company’s financial health, providing only basic details. On the other hand, abridged accounts, while still simplified, provide a more comprehensive view of a company’s financial situation.

Am I eligible to file abridged accounts?

Not all companies can choose to file abridged accounts. This option is only available to companies that qualify as ‘small’ under the Companies Act 2006. To be considered a small company, at least two of the following conditions must be met:

  1. The company’s turnover must be £10.2 million or less
  2. The company’s balance sheet total must be £5.1 million or less
  3. The company must have 50 or fewer employees

It’s important to note that all members of the company must agree to the preparation and filing of abridged accounts.

How to file abridged accounts

Filing abridged accounts is a relatively simple process. These accounts can be filed online using the Companies House WebFiling service. During the process, companies will have the option to choose the type of accounts they wish to prepare and file.

If you are using an accountant to compile and check your annual company accounts, they will send you a draft for approval and then once you have signed and approved the draft account the account will be able to file the accounts to Companies House on your behalf.

Filing abridged accounts comes with several benefits. For starters, the process is simpler and requires less information, making it easier for small companies to manage. Additionally, this approach offers a degree of privacy as less information about the company is made public.

What’s in abridged accounts?

An abridged account is comprised of a simpler balance sheet and any related notes. A key feature of an abridged account is that it does not require a breakdown of fixed assets, creditors, or debtors. Additionally, the profit and loss account in an abridged account starts from the gross profit, meaning that the net profit does not have to be disclosed.

What are fileted accounts?

When you file your accounts (either full or abridged accounts) you can opt to file filleted accounts with Companies House. This strips out two parts of the accounts – removing the profit & loss account and also the option to remove the director’s report when you submit to Companies House. This means that the P&L and director’s report information will not be published and made public.

A comment on micro-entity accounts

In addition to abridged accounts, there’s another type of accounts known as ‘micro-entity accounts.’ These are even simpler forms of accounts that small companies with very low turnover can choose to prepare. If a company qualifies as a micro-entity, it can choose to prepare micro-entity accounts, small company abridged accounts, or full accounts. To qualify, your business needs to have:

  • A turnover of £632,000 or less
  • £316,000 or less on your balance sheet
  • 10 employees or fewer

Dormant companies

A company is considered ‘dormant’ by Companies House if it hasn’t had any ‘significant’ transactions in the financial year that would typically be reported. Such companies can also file abridged accounts.

Summary

In conclusion, abridged accounts offer a simplified way for small businesses to manage their financial reporting obligations. By understanding the concept and process of abridged accounts, business owners can save time, reduce stress, and maintain their company’s financial health.

While this guide provides a comprehensive overview of abridged accounts, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional accountant or financial advisor to ensure you’re meeting all your legal and financial obligations.

Written by

Anna Thornhill
Anna Thornhillhttps://gosmallbusiness.co.uk
Anna Thornhill is one of our expert writers. Anna is our specialist editor covering business growth and marketing and makes it her mission to provide small business owners with practical guides that help you step-by-step to grow your business. Anna’s an experienced sales and marketing professional who moved to writing and editorial and helps startups and small business owners with practical advice in growing their business with the latest sales and marketing techniques plus guides to choosing and using sales and marketing technology.

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