28 Aug, 2023 02:25 PM
Admin Category: Business Advice, Company Formation, Penalties and Deadlines,

Limited Company Annual Accounts For Companies House

Filing annual accounts for limited companies is a crucial process that provides a snapshot of financial health, and seeking professional assistance can ensure compliance and offer expert guidance.


Annual accounts play a crucial role in the financial management of a limited company. They provide a comprehensive overview of the company's financial performance and ensure transparency for stakeholders. Filing annual accounts with Companies House is a legal requirement that must be fulfilled by every limited company. In this article, we will explore the importance of annual accounts, the process of filing them, and the benefits of seeking professional assistance from a tax accountant.


Why are Annual Accounts Important?

Annual accounts serve as a financial snapshot of a company's operations and provide valuable insights into its financial health. These reports showcase important information such as revenue, expenses, profits, and losses. Interested parties, including shareholders, investors, and potential partners, rely on these documents to assess the company's performance and make informed decisions. By presenting accurate and transparent financial information, annual accounts enhance the company's credibility and reputation.


When Should You File Your Annual Accounts?

The timeline for filing annual accounts with Companies House depends on the company's incorporation date and accounting reference date (ARD). For first-year accounts, they must be delivered to Companies House within 21 months of incorporation. Subsequent annual accounts should be submitted no later than 9 months after the ARD.


What is My Company's Accounting Reference Date (ARD)?

The accounting reference date (ARD) marks the end of a company's financial year. Every registered company is assigned an ARD by Companies House, usually set as the anniversary of the last day of the month of company formation. It is essential to ensure that annual accounts are 'made up' to this ARD and filed within the specified timeframe.


Can I Change My Accounting Reference Date?

Yes, you have the flexibility to change your accounting reference date, provided it is done before the filing deadline. However, if your accounts are overdue or the company is in administration, you will not be able to change it. You can shorten your financial year as many times as necessary, but lengthening it is limited to once every 5 years, up to 18 months from the date of incorporation or the previous ARD. To change your ARD, complete and file Companies House Form AA01, which can be submitted online via WebFiling or one of our tax accountants at Taj Accountants.


What Should Your Annual Accounts Include?

Annual accounts should include a range of financial statements, such as a balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and cash flow statement. Additionally, they may include notes to the accounts, providing further details and explanations. The accuracy and completeness of these statements are crucial, as they contribute to the overall financial picture of the company.


Can I Prepare My Own Company Accounts?

Limited company accounting and taxation requirements are complex and require adherence to accounting standards set by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). As a director, you carry the legal responsibility of maintaining accurate accounting records, filing true and fair annual accounts with Companies House and HMRC, calculating tax liabilities, filing Company Tax Returns, and preparing Self Assessment tax returns. While it is possible to prepare your own company accounts, it requires a strong understanding of bookkeeping services and accounting practices. If you lack the necessary expertise, it is recommended to hire a tax accountant in London who can ensure compliance, provide valuable advice, and potentially save you time and money in the long run.


How to File Your Annual Accounts

Filing annual accounts with Companies House can be done through WebFiling or with our support from a tax accountant at Taj Accountants in London. It is crucial to meet the specified deadlines to avoid penalties. Additionally, full annual accounts must be included with each Company Tax Return ct600 and filed online with HMRC within 12 months after the end of each Corporation Tax accounting period.


Seeking Professional Assistance from a Tax Accountant

While preparing your own annual accounts is an option, many businesses choose to enlist the accounting services of a tax accountant to ensure accuracy and efficiency. Small Business Accountants in London possess the expertise to handle complex accounting services and taxation for limited companies requirements, minimising the risk of errors and penalties. They can also provide valuable cloud bookkeeping advice, assist with audits, and help with business growth strategies. Depending on the size and needs of your business, you may opt for periodic assistance or consider hiring a full-time cloud bookkeeper or a tax accountant.



Annual accounts are a vital component of managing a limited company. They provide stakeholders with essential financial information, enhance credibility, and ensure compliance with legal requirements. By understanding the importance of annual accounts, knowing when and how to file them, and considering professional assistance if needed, you can effectively fulfil your responsibilities as a director and contribute to the success of your company.

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