Audit and assurance update: What do statutory accounts provide for your stakeholders?

At the end of every reporting season, there is always a huge sigh of relief when your statutory accounts are signed off and filed at Companies House.

But what do those statutory accounts say about your business to stakeholders?

With statutory accounts freely available at Companies House, many stakeholders are waiting to evaluate the performance of your business for a variety of reasons.

Most companies tend to have a pattern of filing statutory accounts at Companies House at a similar time each year, and a large proportion file pretty close to the filing deadline as a matter of policy.

Good results can lead to choices in the timing of filing – file earlier than usual so that everyone is aware how successful you have been, or file as late as possible so that stakeholders are acting on information that is pretty much nine months out of date. Inevitably though, poorer results can also lead to filing right at the last minute.

So, who are your primary stakeholders, lining up at Companies House for your results, likely to be:

  • Credit agencies will determine changes to your credit ratings, following the availability of your accounts, which suppliers, customers and lenders will use to assess your financial position.
  • Customers will want to ensure that their supplies are safeguarded. High profits however could result in customers trying to margin squeeze and push back on price increases.
  • Suppliers want to know that you are ‘good for your money’ and also could look to margin squeeze on the back of good results.
  • Employees will likely have gone through their annual performance appraisals by the time your accounts are filed. They will of course benchmark their pay awards against the success shown in the company accounts.
  • Lenders, both current and prospective, will be keen to ensure that facilities and security levels are appropriate for the financial position of your business.

It is crucial that statutory accounts provide the appropriate messages to your stakeholders so that their needs are satisfied. Not only will that be through the performance of your business, but also in the detailed disclosures in the statutory accounts, which often contain sensitive information, and the key front end narrative reports.

Hazlewoods provides a bespoke outsourcing service for the preparation of high-quality statutory accounts that is tailored to your specific needs. Working with you, this ensures messages to stakeholders and disclosures are appropriate, taking advantage of available disclosure exemptions that accounting standards allow to reduce sensitivity.

We can also advise you on the drafting of your front end narrative reports, which deliver key messages as they are first up when your statutory accounts are accessed at Companies House.

Our partner led Statutory Accounts team ensures compliance and high quality, allowing your finance team to concentrate on running your business during the year-end process.

To find out more about our statutory accounts support and see what our clients say, visit our website here.

Alternatively, if you would like to discuss this further, please get in touch below.

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