Changing Accounting Reference Date

When a business is incorporated, it is a standard process for it to have an accounting reference date in which the company’s financial accounts are prepared. This date tends to fall at the end of a particular month (most commonly the month in which the anniversary of the business’ incorporation falls).

The accounting reference date marks the start of the time allowed to deliver accounts to the Registrar of Companies at Companies House. If you wish to change the accounts reference date you need to contact and inform Companies House ahead of time, otherwise fines and penalties shall be automatically incurred for incorrect accounts, meaning that correct accounts will not be received at Companies House on time. Furthermore, the Registrar of Companies does not accept accounts relating to a period that they do not hold on their files.

Our change of accounting reference date service allows you to change the financial year of your company to a maximum of 18 months (please note this cannot be done if the accounts are already overdue) and costs only £59.99.

What is the purpose of changing your accounting reference date?

  • Shortening your financial year (this can be done as many times as you wish –you can even shorten it by as little as one day). Therefore, your annual accounts will report on all your company’s financial activity from the date of company formation to the new ARD.
  • Lengthening your financial year (it can be extended by up to 18 months, unless your company is in administration, in which case it can be extended by more). This can only be done once every five years.

The changing accounting reference date service can be added to any company formation package, or you can purchase it separately if your company is already formed.