A company’s financial year

The following Corporate practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A company’s financial year
  • Determining a company’s ARD
  • Determining a company’s ARP
  • Altering a company’s ARD
  • Notifications required on an alteration of a company's ARD
  • Determining a company’s financial year

A company’s financial year

The determination of a company’s financial year is a complex process involving the determination of its accounting reference date (ARD) and its accounting reference period (ARP). A company’s financial year is determined by reference to its accounting reference period: it will be the same as that period, save that the directors may determine that the financial year ends on a day not more than seven days before or after the end of the accounting reference period. A company’s accounting reference period is determined by reference to its accounting reference date: it ends on that date.

Some or all of these statutory provisions relating to a financial year may also apply to other companies (such as overseas companies (as defined)) and entities, but this issue is outside the scope of this Practice Note.

Determining a company’s ARD

The last day of the month in which the anniversary of its incorporation falls is the ARD of a company incorporated:

  1. in Great Britain on or after 1 April 1996 and before 8 November 2006

  2. in Northern Ireland on or after 22 August 1997 and before 8 November 2006, or

  3. after 8 November 2006

The ARD of a company incorporated in Great Britain before 1 April 1996 is:

  1. the date specified in an appropriate notice to Companies House in accordance with section 224(2) of the Companies Act 1985, or

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