There are some changes coming to the reporting standards for businesses.  For the year ending 31 March, 2014, the existing framework must be adhered to.  I was told also, that June balance dates will also follow the existing framework for the year ending June 2014.  Filing for 31 March (and June) 2015 will be under the new regime.

I have invested some time to try and understand these changes, as a business owner, and as the owner of Katalyst – so we can best understand the changes for our clients and the standards we need to adhere to as bookkeepers.

Acronyms

First up, some acronyms which will help:

  • NZICA – NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • IRD – Inland Revenue Department, or IR as they say
  • XRB – Exporting Reporting Board – an independent crown entity who set business reporting standards
  • GAAP – Generally Accepted Accounting Practice
  • SME – Small to Medium Enterprise – or Small and Medium Businesses
  • FMC – Basically means Financial Market Conduct, but more relates to companies that have to comply with it, refers to banks, insurance companies, lenders etc
  • APs – Associated Persons
  • IP – Intellectual Property
  • CA – Chartered Accountant
  • CPA – Certified Public Accountant?

95%

95% of for-profit businesses will fall into what is named the ‘Special Purpose’ framework.  This is a bare bones, minimum criteria set by IRD.

What must be prepared:

  • Balance sheet, profit and loss and supporting notes and schedules (basically paperwork to back it up I guess)
  • Statement of accounting policies and changes thereto (maybe the accountant still needs to do this one aye?)
  • Where appropriate tax values can be used (no idea what this means)
  • A financial statement to tax reconciliation (it all has to make sense)
  • Movements in shareholder funds
  • Disclosure of the IR10 data points (righto) – I understand IRD want IR10’s to be mandatory and e-filed as the ultimate goal, I don’t think at this stage you actually have to file one?
  • A schedule of (certain) specified Associated Persons transactions – such as non-residents and non-corporates.  Associated Persons transactions such as one company or person leasing a building to an associated company or person.  Or, IP leased to another person or company.

These documents are not required to be delivered to IRD but it is expected you have them prepared.  Also, you can gather these documents from many sources.

5%

By the way, the other 5% of companies, who have to continue to comply with the GAAP framework, are made up of:

  • FMC Reporting Entities
  • Large companies with $30m in revenue or $60m in assets and overseas companies with $10m in revenue or $20m in assets.
  • Companies with 10 or more shareholders – however if 95% of shareholders agree, by general resolution, they can opt out of this regime
  • NB:  Companies with 10 or less shareholders can opt in, with 95% vote by general resolution, as this is a higher reporting standard that they would be adhering to

There is a rule that if you have under $30k in sales and expenses, you may not need to prepare anything, but you will still need to file tax – so not sure how you do one without the other…

Summary

So to sum up, you still need an accountant to file the tax and to interpret the rules and minimum requirements.  Also, if you are a business owner, the minimums are bare bones, all experts said that if you are in business to make money and to grow, you need more than the minimum.  If your accountant is a CA or CPA, they may have optional reporting framework they may choose to adhere too.  This will be a better standard than the minimum requirement but not to the full GAAP standard (which is not required).  It is a good idea to discuss this with your accountant so you know what you are paying for and getting.

Also, banks, or other interested parties like factoring companies, may express the need for a higher standard of reporting – check your loan documents for any mention of GAAP or such, maybe have a chat with the bank if you have a lot going on with them.

Xero are soon to release what they are calling V2 – Version 2 reporting.  This will make the reporting outputs in Xero highly customisable, so whether you are reporting to CA or CPA standards, minimum standards, or a standard your bank or someone else requests, you should be easily able to report from Xero.  Watch our blog, or your Xero mailbox for news – this will be released this year, I am not sure how soon.  It might be a staged release.

If you are borderline in some areas of your business, or your company has certain complications, you can choose the GAAP reporting standard for that single area of your company.

This is not advice, merely my understanding.  In all cases around financial reporting and accounting, I recommend speaking with your business advisers or accountants. These are my interpretations from a few conversations.

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