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Essential guide to annual accounts

Annual accounts provide vital information about your company’s operating and financial activities over the past year.

All companies must file annual accounts with Companies House within nine months of the financial year-end and with HMRC within twelve months of the financial year-end, together with a Corporation Tax Return.

It is best practise to complete and submit the annual accounts within a few months of the year-end to enable you to review and improve business operations, and so that you are aware as soon as possible of any Corporation Tax Liability falling due for payment nine months after the financial year-end.

Almost all companies use accounting software and the services of an accountant to prepare their annual accounts.

Andrew Kershaw, Director at Hampshire accountants HWB, says: “Good record-keeping and organisation makes collaboration with your accountant and the process of preparing the annual accounts as simple as possible.”

To avoid confusion with everyday management accounts, the annual accounts field at Companies Hose and HMRC are referred to as ‘statutory accounts’ and will usually have four main sections: directors report; balance sheet; profit and loss account; and notes.

Andrew adds: “The best advice is to ensure the underlying records are clear and logical as this saves times for everyone involved. Keep it simple and do it in a way that helps you manage your business.”

If you need help with preparing your annual accounts, contact Andrew Kershaw at HWB on 02380461245 or

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