The Endless Red Tape of the New Companies Act

The Companies Act 2014 came into operation on 1 June 2015 and involves massive changes to Irish Company Law.

The Companies Office (CRO) have, in response, issued a mind-boggling total of 38 Information Leaflets, on a range of topics from Company Incorporations to Liquidations, Receiverships and Examinerships – everything from cradle to grave company-wise as it were.

Where should you start in coming to terms with your obligations under the new Act?

Companies Act 2014

If you’re a company director or secretary, I recommend you start with Information Leaflet No. 36, Requirements for Directors  and Information Leaflet No. 16 The Company Secretary respectively.

And if you’re responsible for preparing and filing CRO annual returns and accounts, you will need a detailed knowledge of Information Leaflet No. 23, Annual Return and Financial Statement Requirements including Audit Exemption.

Unfortunately, this latter document, in common with its title, is rather a mouthful, as it contains 41 pages of detailed content and some 22,300 words.

But it’s essential reading as it covers all the key rules governing:

  • annual returns – particularly the crucial Annual Return Date (ARD) filing deadline.
  • the essential disclosures required in annual accounts.
  • audit exemption
  • audit reports
  • procedures for correction of errors and revisions to accounts.
  • group companies.

There’s an awful lot here for anyone to get to grips with, and the task is all the more daunting for an already busy company director, secretary or manager.

I’ve noted previously noted how the new Act has clearly failed in its objective of simplifying company administration and cutting red tape.

The sad irony is that companies, along with their directors and secretaries, will now be more dependent on professional advisors than ever before.