In which circumstances can you change the company’s year end?
You can change your company’s year end (also known as its ‘accounting reference date’) to make your company’s financial year run for more or less than 12 months.
The first accounting period must be between six and eighteen months. Subsequent periods will usually be twelve months, but can be changed to anything from one day to eighteen months.
An accounting period can be shortened as often as you like but can only be extended once every five years.
It is not possible to alter the accounting period if the filing deadline has already passed.
How to change a company’s year end
Once the date has been changed the accounts will be due either three months after Companies House are made aware of the change or nine months after the new reference date. The filing deadline will be the one which provides the greatest amount of time to prepare the accounts (i.e. whichever is the latest date).
ABC Limited is due to file its accounts for the year end 31 October 2010 on or before 31 July 2011. On the 30 June 2011 Companies House accept a request that the accounting reference date be shortened by one day to 30 October 2010. XYZ Limited’s accounts are now due on the 30 September 2011.
An exception to this rule is if it’s the company’s first accounting period - the first accounts must be filed 21 months post incorporation, even if the accounting period date is changed the date on which the accounts must be filed will not.