Covid-19 Effects on Financial Reporting
We recognise the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is causing major disruptions and commercial volatility and want to do everything we can to help you with business continuity. Due to the fast-moving nature of government and regulatory guidance we recommend you visit the following organisations or speak with your usual BDO contact.
FRC - The Financial Reporting Council has provided updated guidance for companies on Corporate Governance and Reporting (Including Interim Reports) dated May 2020. You can read the guidance here.
Please see all updates issued by the FRC with regards to the COVID-19 Virus response. You can also sign up to their newsletter here or view their newsfeed.
- FCA – information for firms on FCA coronavirus (Covid-19) response. Full FCA newsfeed here.
- ICAEW – guidance for businesses in light of coronavirus
- QCA - members may find guidance useful that has been issued that sets out the options available to companies for holding their AGMs under the current restrictions and limitations.
Companies House is now granting those who apply, a two-month extension to file company accounts. Companies House advise that companies should act before the filing deadline. If accounts will be late because your company is affected by COVID-19, and your filing deadline has not yet passed, you can apply for an automatic and immediate 3 month extension to file your accounts but you must apply for the extension before the filing deadline.
The link to apply is here.
BDO Ireland Hub: For those with interests in ROI also.
The following documents contain financial reporting considerations that entities and engagement teams need to consider. The BDO NI team members to contact should you have any questions are located on the back pages of each of these documents.
ICSA/FRC guidance on AGMs and impact of Covid-19
The Chartered Governance Institute (ICSA) and the FRC have issued a guidance document that covers different suggestions for companies planning their AGMs, as they should be considering contingency plans in light of the spread of Coronavirus.
More information on AGMs,GMs & reporting deadline changes can be found here.
Insolvency Legislation Changes due to Covid-19
On Saturday 28th March 2020, the Government announced that it would be introducing amendments to Insolvency Law in light of the economic challenges that otherwise profitable and viable businesses are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These amendments are important as they will give company directors more options to keep their businesses trading and provide a degree of comfort that some of the difficult decisions that are being made now, will not expose them personally at a later date.
Further details about the proposed legislation changes can be found here.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
On Tuesday 24 March, the government announced the suspension of enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines for this year (2019/2020).
Normally, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has the power to investigate businesses with over 250 employees that fail to report their gender pay gap data. This decision means that employers will no longer be expected to report on this data until further notice.
IR35 in the Private Sector
The Government has announced that the reform of the off-payroll working rules will be delayed for one year from 6 April 2020 until 6 April 2021. This is part of the additional support for businesses and individuals to deal with the economic impacts of Covid-19. This is a deferral of the introduction, not a cancellation.
Read more information here about the new rules and how it may affect your business.