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Accounting Reference Date (ARD) – making changes

Can I change the accounting reference date using Kudocs?  Yes – by either written resolution (board) or to a board meeting. Kudocs will send out the resolution for electronic voting, or the meeting invite to attendees. If the necessary votes are cast in favour, the change of ARD is complete, subject to Companies House approval.


What is the accounting reference date?  A company is required by law to prepare accounts for each financial year and the accounting reference date (“ARD”) determines when that year ends.


Are there rules on changing the accounting reference date?  Yes, A company can change the ARD by bringing it forward (i.e. shortening the financial year), or by pushing it back (i.e. extending the financial year).

A company may not:

  1. Change the period for which the accounts are already overdue for filing;
  2. Extend the current accounting period more than 18 months (i.e. no more than 18 months since the start of the accounting period or date of incorporation), unless the company is in administration; or
  3. Extend the period more than once in five years unless it has special authorisation to do so.
  4. Shorten the ARD, to a date that is before the start of the current accounting period.


When does a change take place?   The ARD change will only take place once confirmed by Companies House.


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