An accounting reference date (ARD) is the financial year end of a company.
Its significance is that, as all UK companies must prepare some form of statutory accounts, the accounting reference date is used to determine both the period for which a set of accounts will cover and the time by which they must be delivered.
Initially, the company registration date will be used to determine when the business’ year end will be.
This will be the month end of the first anniversary in which the company was incorporated. A company formed on July 4th 2011 will have a default accounting reference date of 31st July each year; similarly a business set-up on 28th October will have its year end on 31st October.
Every UK company which is incorporated will be given a default financial end date as described above.
There is therefore no requirement to apply for a date or to notify Companies House that the one given has been accepted.
Form 225 - Changing an Accounting Reference Date
UK Companies are permitted to change their accounting reference date to one which they find more preferential.
Such requests are made to Companies House on a Form 225. In most situations the application to alter the year end is granted.
The main exceptions are when the company has made a previously change or when the submission deadline for delivering the accounts has already past.
In the latter instance, the requested alteration would not be considered until the company’s filing obligations have been brought up to date.
The Form 225 is available free as a PDF document and requires a suitable reader to view it contents. See www.adobe.com
Download Form 225