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Small and Medium Company Thresholds and Audit Exemption Thresholds

Q 1 What are these regulations?

A. They are "The Companies Act 1985 (Accounts of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Audit Exemption)(Amendment) Regulations 2004" - (S.I. 2004/16).

Q 2 What do they do?

A. The Regulations have three effects:

  • for small companies they increase the thresholds for turnover and balance sheet totals to £5.6m and £2.8m respectively;
  • for medium companies they increase the thresholds for turnover and balance sheet totals to £22.8m and £11.4m respectively;
  • for audit exemption they increase the thresholds for turnover and balance sheet totals to £5.6m and £2.8m respectively.

Q 3 When do they come into force?

A. The regulations were made on 9 January 2004 and come into force on 30 January 2004; the changes apply on the following basis:

  • the increases in small and medium company turnover and balance sheet totals thresholds take effect in relation to year ends on or after 30 January 2004
  • the increase in the company turnover and balance sheet totals threshold for audit exemption takes effect in relation to year ends on or after 30 March 2004

Q 4 Can all companies take advantage of the increased small and medium thresholds from those dates?

A. Yes, provided that they meet the new criteria to qualify as small or medium and have not extended their current accounting reference date since 9 January [the date the regulations were made] so as to come to end on or after 30 January 2004.

Q 5 Can all new small companies take advantage of the increased audit exemption threshold for financial years ending on or after 30 March?

A . Yes.

Q 6 Can companies change their accounting reference date to take advantage of the new small and medium thresholds?

A. No.

Q 7 Can small companies change their accounting reference date to take advantage of audit exemption?

A. Yes provided they qualify as small under the previous small company thresholds of a turnover not more than £2.8m and balance sheet total of not more than £1.4m, but not if they qualify under the new thresholds.

Q 8 Where can I find out more information about these regulations?

A. On the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk

Q 9 Do the regulations do anything else?

A. Yes, they amend section 249D(3) of the Companies Act 1985 to allow members of ICSA to act as a Reporting Accountant to eligible charitable companies.
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