What's the difference? Companies House filings explained

What are Annual statutory Accounts, End of Year Accounts, Annual Statutory Returns and Confirmation Statements?


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These filings with Companies House are tantamount in importance - keeping your company information up to date and accurate is like taking care of the basic necessities of life for your business. Say your business was your child (which it is like for many), making sure you’re compliant with Companies House is like making sure the electric bill has been paid and there’s food in the fridge.

However, with so many different terms flying around for things that can vary only slightly in content and remit, it’s commonplace for business owners to confuse which information goes where and at what time. So what’s the differences between each filing for your small business?

Note: as of June 30 2016 Annual Returns have been replaced with the Confirmation Statement which should, at least, prevent some confusion surrounding the similar terminology of Annual Accounts and Annual Returns. More on the regulation changes below.


How are these filings the same?

Annual Statutory Accounts and the new Confirmation Statement are both submitted to Companies House.

Both need to be done at least once a year.

Both are compulsory for companies.


How are they different?

Annual Statutory Accounts are a report on a company’s financials that must be completed at the end of a company’s financial year and filed with Companies House. 

Annual Statutory Accounts must include:

  • A balance sheet showing the value of assets, what the company is owed and owes.
  • A profit and losses sheet showing sales, costs - and yes - profits or losses.
  • A report from the Director detailing the state of the company and any other notes on the accounts.

Submitting company Statutory Accounts follows a predetermined schedule which must be kept unless you are ok with being dinged with late penalties. In some cases, failing to submit Statutory Accounts my end up in the dissolution of your business. Here’s a table straight from the source explaining the timeline for filing Annual Statutory Accounts, tax returns or self-assessments and corporation tax:

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gov.uk schedule for preparing and submitting Annual Statutory Accounts and taxes



Confirmation Statements (previously annual return)

In 2015 there were changes to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act that saw the annual statutory return be replaced by a Confirmation Statement and the introduction of the Persons with Significant Control or PSC register. These changes now demand a lot more detail from companies, especially those with many directors and shareholders, but make it easier and cheaper to update any changes to information with Companies House.

Confirmation Statements are a way for Companies House to confirm that the information they hold about a company is up to date and accurate. This means that you can either file a statement with details about directors, shareholders and share transfers or “check and confirm” that the current information is correct. The information in a Confirmation Statement or must include the company’s:

  • Registered office
  • Directors
  • Register location
  • Shareholders (including PSC)
  • Statement of capital
  • Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code

A PSC register is a detailed report of anyone who has decision making power, influence or ownership of a company. If anyone in your company fits one or more of these criteria then they are a Person with Significant Control.

Does this person:

  • Own more than 25% of the company’s shares?
  • Hold more than 25% of the company’s voting rights?
  • Hold the right to appoint or remove the majority of directors?
  • Have the right to, or actually exercises significant influence or control?
  • Hold the right to exercise or actually exercises significant control over a trust or company that meets one of the first 4 conditions?

The made up date for filing of the Confirmation Statement will remain the same date as your annual return made up date however the due date will now 14 days after rather than the 28 days pervious allowed.


Geniac helps small businesses with end of year accounts and maintains PSC registers, to find out more about how we can help you get back to growing your business contact enquiries@geniac.com or call 0203 696 8214


by Katherine Green on November 3, 2016

Topics: small business, confirmation statement, annual return, annual statutory accounts

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