Accounts audit and assurance

As well as the need to prepare annual accounts for filing at Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs, some businesses are obliged by statute to have their year end accounts audited.

Some businesses will choose to have an audit, for example where a sale is anticipated in the near future, or where independent assurance is required by shareholders who are not part of the management team.

The rules determining whether businesses are obliged to have an audit have changed recently. These rules largely depend on the size of the business:

  • Public companies and those in certain sectors (including insurance broking and financial services) are likely to need an audit.

  • If your business meets the definition of a ‘small company’, in most instances you won’t have to have an audit. 

How can we help?

  • Do I need to have an audit?

    To find out if you are likely to be classified as a ‘small company’, answer these three questions:

    • Is your turnover more than £6.5 million?

    • Is your balance sheet total more than £3.26 million?

    • Do you have more than 50 employees?

    If you answer ‘yes’ to two or more, you are unlikely to be classed as a ‘small company’ and are likely to be obliged to have an audit.

    If you are obliged to have an audit or if you want an audit for other reasons browse the Audit and Assurance section for more details however there are exceptions so please talk to us to confirm the position.

    If you answer ‘no’ to two or more, you are likely to be classed as a ‘small company’ and are unlikely to be obliged to have an audit.

  • What other options are there?

    Many businesses are exempt from the audit requirement but are still interested in some of the reassurance that comes from being audited. There are a number of possibilities:

    Assurance Review – this is a standard review approach on your year end accounts which focuses on the material figures in the accounts, where issues are most likely to arise. This review may provide the level of independent assurance shareholders are looking for.

    Bespoke Review -  if your business is complex, operates across a number of sites or if you are looking for further comfort that systems and controls are operating effectively we can carry out specific reviews, reporting to you on key business systems and controls. This can be done either as part of the year end accounts process or at a time most convenient for you and your business.

    Compilation Reports – if you are not looking for independent assurance but still want the comfort that comes from knowing that your businesses year end accounts have been complied by a firm of Chartered Accountants, this option is the one for you.

    • Tell us about your business and your plans.

    • Once we understand your plans and concerns we will talk to you about the options.

    • We will help you make the right choice for you and your business.