23 May 2013

Changes recommended for financial reporting bill

8:38 am on 23 May 2013

A Parliamentary committee is recommending several changes to legislation that would cut the financial reporting burden for smaller companies.

The Commerce select committee report recommends setting a single deadline for companies to prepare and lodge financial statements, as well as increasing the threshold at which not-for-profit entities must prepare those statements.

Commerce Minister Craig Foss said on Wednesday the legislation removes expensive and unnecessary reporting obligations for businesses and is an important part of the Government's business growth agenda.

A partner at accounting firm Ernst & Young, Kimberley Crook, says when the bill becomes law, it will reduce financial accounting compliance costs for more than 90% of New Zealand businesses.

The select committee has recommended against changing the law to force some larger companies to prepare their financial statements within three months of their balance date.

Ms Crook says it makes sense to restore the status quo and keep the timeframe at the current five months.

She says there is no need for companies which do not have a public interest dimension, such as privately owned companies or subsidiaries reporting up to their parent company, to report any sooner.

The bill will go back before the House for its second reading.