Companies, which meet specific criteria, may, under the terms of Chapter 15 Part 6 Companies Act 2014, avail of an exemption from the requirement to have the financial statements which are appended to its annual return audited. A company must qualify as a small company (or micro companyy).
Un-audited accounts consist of a balance sheet and the notes to the financial statements where applicable. There must be an exemption statement on the bottom of the balance sheet, stating the following (these specific words must be used). Sample Statement to be included on Balance Sheet when claiming BOTH audit exemption and the small company (abridgement) exemption:
I/We, as director(s) of (company name), state that:(a) the company is availing itself of the exemption provided for by Chapter 15 of Part 6 of the Companies Act 2014,(b) the company is availing itself of the exemption on the grounds that the conditions specified in s.358 are satisfied,(c) the shareholders of the company have not served a notice on the company under s.334(1) in accordance with s.334(2),(d) we acknowledge the company’s obligations under the Companies Act 2014, to keep adequate accounting records and prepare Financial Statements which give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities and financial position of the company at the end of its financial year and of its profit or loss for such a year and to otherwise comply with the provisions of Companies Act 2014 relating to Financial Statements so far as they are applicable to the company,
*(e) the company has relied on the specified exemption contained in s.352 Companies Act 2014;
has done so on the grounds that the company is entitled to the benefit of that exemption as a small company and the abridged Financial Statements have been properly prepared in accordance with s.353 Companies Act 2014.
On behalf of the board:TYPED Name of Signatory: TYPED Name of Signatory:Director DirectorDate: Date:(*In the above statement, use sections (a) – (d) if claiming audit exemption and add section (e) if claiming the small company/abridgement exemption. A small company can claim either or both exemptions in their Financial Statements if they qualify.)
First Annual Return - Six months after incorporation
A company cannot claim an Audit Exemption at the time when the first Form B1 (6 months from the date of incorporation) is due to be filed with the CRO as no financial statements are required to be filed with that return. Audit Exemption may be claimed, however, at the time of the company’s first full annual return or when subsequent annual returns are being filed.
The CRO has no option but to refuse to accept financial statements which are unaudited, where there is non-compliance with any of the conditions laid down in Chapter 15 Part 6 Companies Act 2014, either in respect of the year concerned or the preceding year
NB: WHERE AN ANNUAL RETURN IS FILED LATE IN THE YEAR IN WHICH AN EXEMPTION IS CLAIMED OR IN THE PRECEDING YEAR, THE COMPANY LOSES ITS RIGHT TO THE AUDIT EXEMPTION NOT ONLY FOR THE YEAR IN QUESTION BUT THE NEXT YEAR ALSO.
The Registrar of Companies has no power to grant any relief to companies from these requirements of the Companies Act 2014.
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