The Companies (Accounting) Act 2017
The main changes:-
- The Companies (Accounting) Act 2017 (the “2017 Act”) is a sizeable piece of legislation.
- It makes many new changes to the Companies Act 2014 (the “2014 Act”).
- The majority of the changes in the 2017 Act impact on the form, content and filings of annual and consolidated financial statements.
- These amendments introduce changes to the preparation and governance of financial statements, the audit of Irish companies and the filing of annual returns (CRO).
- Most of the provisions of the 2017 Act came into force on 9 June 2017 and the accounting related changes introduced will affect companies for financial years commencing on or after 1 January 2017.
Less burdensome accounting compliance requirements are introduced for smaller companies that qualify as ‘micro’ companies. The following types of companies cannot qualify as micro companies:
- an investment company;
- a financial holding undertaking;
- a holding company that prepares group financial statements; or
- a subsidiary that is included in the consolidated financial statements of a higher holding undertaking.
Disclosures in financial statements
Micro and small sized companies will be exempt from certain disclosures in their financial statements with more extensive disclosure exemptions for micro companies, including an exemption from disclosing details of directors’ remuneration.
In addition, changes are introduced to the criteria for companies to qualify as ‘small’ and ‘medium’ sized companies. To qualify for a category, a company must not exceed two of the three thresholds set out in the table below. The new thresholds are a significant increase from the existing thresholds applicable to ‘small’ and ‘medium’ companies. For comparison, the existing thresholds are set out in bold in the table below.
|Balance sheet total||€350,000||€6,000,000(€4,400,000)||€20,000,000(€10,000,000)|
Abridged financial statements and the audit exemption
The 2017 Act removes the exemption available to medium sized companies from filing abridged financial statements. As a result, they must file full financial statements. The revised small company thresholds will be the criteria for abridgement of financial statements. These revised small company thresholds also apply when deciding whether a company can avail of the audit exemption.
Business Start Ups – what is available?
The following is a list of some of the financial supports available to new businesses with a useful link:-
Starting Your Own Business
- Seed Capital Scheme
- Three Year Corporate Tax Exemption
- Back to Work Enterprise Allowance
- Short-Term Enterprise Allowance
Access to Credit
- MicroFinance Fund
- Credit Guarantee Scheme
- Credit Review Office
- Code of Conduct for Business Lending to SMEs
- Employment Investment Incentive (EII)
- R&D Tax Credit
- Startup Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE)
- Revenue Job Assist
- Employers Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme
- FÁS Wage Subsidy Scheme
PAYE modernisation (from 1st January 2019)
- PAYE modernisation will involve the most significant reform of the PAYE system since its introduction in 1960.
- Employers will need to calculate and report their employees’ pay and deductions as they are being paid.
- This will make it easier for Revenue, employers and employees to ensure that the right tax is deducted and paid at the right time.
- The new real time reporting regime will be operational for all employee payments being made from 1 January 2019.
- This will require employers, agents and payroll providers to review their current business processes and practices so that they meet the new requirements.
PAYE modernisation will:
- improve the streamlining of current business processes
- reduce the administrative burden currently experienced by employers to meet their PAYE reporting obligations.