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File company accounts

How do I file my company accounts?

Company accounts are documents which are prepared at the end of a financial year. They tell us how a company has performed over a period of time (usually a year) and what the financial position is at the year end date.

Who needs to file company accounts?

All companies must file their accounts online with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The accounts must be submitted alongside the CT600 (Company Tax Return) and Corporation Tax computations (your tax calculations).

Accounts must also be filed with Companies House either online or via the post (online filing is not yet compulsory).

There is an option to file jointly via the HMRC website.

Smaller companies have the option to file abbreviated or micro entity accounts (shorter or simpler accounts).

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What do company accounts contain?

A set of accounts will usually consist of:

Profit and loss account (income statement)

This example of a profit and loss account shows the results for a financial year and we also have the previous year’s comparatives.

  31 December 2022 (£) 31 December 2023 (£) Key components of a profit and  loss account
Turnover 1,580,035 977,046 Turnover (sales)
Cost of sales 891,586 577,211  
Gross Profit 688,449 399,835 Gross profit (after deducting the cost of sales)
Distribution Costs (263,536) (210,641)  
Adminustrative Expenses (293,402) (315,730)  
Operating Profit / (Loss) 131,511 (126,536)  
Interest Receivable  6,286 12,365  
Interest Payable (20,654) (9,200)  
Profit / (Loss) before Tax 117,143 (123,371) Profit before tax (what the company has made in the year)
Tax (17,413) (0) Tax (corporation tax payable)
Profit / (Loss) for the Year 99,730 (123,371) Profit after tax (amounts availavle to the owners)


Balance sheet  (statement of financial position)

The example balance sheet shows the financial position at the year end date along with the financial position at the previous year end date.

  31 December 2022 (£) 31 December 2023 (£) Key components of a balance sheet
Fixed Assets 436,228 309,909 Fixed assets (for example motor vehicles, office equipment)
Current Assets 416,412 336,761 Current assets (amounts owed to the company)
Creditors due within 1 year (223,191) (169,787) Creditors (amounts owned by the company, including the corporation tax)
Net Current Assets 183,221 166,974  
Total Assets less Current Liabilities 619,449 476,883  
Creditors due after 1 year (50,395) (6,122)  
Provisions for Liabilities (16,885) (14,378)  
  552,169 456,383  
Capital and Reserves     Capital and reserves (amounts owed to or invested by the owners of the company)
Share Capital 75,400 40,000  
Revaluation Reserve 51,500 15,000  
Profit and Loss Account 425,269 401,383  
  552,169 456,383  



Statutory notes are used to further explain and breakdown figures in the financial statements (profit and loss account and balance sheet).The notes will vary depending on the circumstances of the company, except for accounting policies which is a mandatory note.

Director’s report

The director’s report will contain:

  • the principle activity of the business
  • names of the directors, including new appointments and resignations during the year
  • details of any political and charitable donations
  • polices on employees – for example disabled.

It will be dated and signed by one of the directors.

Should I ask an accountant to compile my accounts?

You can prepare and file your own company accounts. However, unless you feel completely confident in completing the accounts yourself, then it may be advisable to employ the services of an accountant

When looking for an accountant always remember to check:

  • if they have professional indemnity insurance
  • how many of the staff are members of the Chartered (ICAEW) or Certified (ACCA) professional bodies.

They should also provide you with:

  • a direct contact telephone number
  • an email address
  • a postal address.

When do I need to file my company accounts?

There are different deadlines for filing the company accounts:

  1. The corporation tax return (including accounts) must be submitted to HMRC within 12 months after the accounting period end to which it relates.
  2. The accounts must be submitted to Companies House within nine months after the accounting period end.

For example – a company with a year end 31 December 2023 must file the return (including accounts) with HMRC by 31 December 2024 and file the accounts with Companies House by 30 September 2024.

How can I file my company accounts?

1. HMRC – companies must register with HMRC to file online and obtain a user ID and password. To register for HMRC Taxes click here.

2. Companies House – to file online companies must obtain an authentication code from Companies House (this is completely different to the one from HMRC). To register for Companies House WebFiling click here.

Alternatively, the accounts can be posted to Companies House. For contact details click here.

Use our Corporation Tax Calculator to find out how much you will owe for the current tax year.

What are the penalties for filing late?

Late filing penalties from HMRC are:

  • less than three months late – £100
  • over three months late – £200
  • over 12 months late – 20% of the tax due.
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