Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
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Covid-19 holds up PwC annual report

Big Four accountancy firm PwC has opted to delay the publication of its report for the year to 30 June 2020 until early next year.

24th Aug 2020
Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
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PwC delays publication of 2020 annual report
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As a limited liability registered with Companies House, but with a turnover in excess of £4bn, PwC is normally allowed nine months to prepare and file its annual accounts.

Along with all other UK-registered companies, however, PwC can take advantage of the automatic three-month extension to its filing deadline granted by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, which came into effect three days before PwC’s year end on 27 June.

So the firm will meet its legal obligations if it produces the 2020 accounts by 30 June 2021.

The statutory requirements for a large LLP like PwC include a profit and loss account, a balance sheet, group accounts and notes detailing the accounting policies and exceptional items reported. As a large entity, PwC is subject to an audit, conducted in recent years by Crowe UK.

However, given its corporate profile, PwC like other Big Four firms sets out to practice what it preaches by preparing a traditional annual report. The accounts are prepared using the EU-endorsed international financial reporting standards (IFRS) that listed companies also use. These accounts are usually accompanied by mission statements adorned with glossy pictures and bumf covering everything from non-financial measures to diversity policies and environmental and social reporting (ESR). Much of the material from the 2019 report can still be accessed online.

In previous years, this production has usually shown up in August or September, but over the weekend the firm alerted the media that the publication schedule would be moved back this year.

“In keeping with our focus throughout the pandemic, our current priorities are managing our business, supporting our clients and preserving jobs before we make any decisions about the quantum of the bonuses we pay to our staff and distributions to partners,” the firm said.

More delayed accounts

Speaking of delayed accounts, HMRC’s year-end falls like every other government department on 5 April. The tax authority is not subject to the same financial reporting regime as private entities, but also follows the IFRS regime adopted for the whole of government accounts.

The government’s financial reporting timetable has also been extended this year to offer relief to members of the government finance function. It may be a coincidence, but this year the Treasury is introducing a new reporting mechanism known as the online system for central accounting and reporting (OSCAR ll) tool.

OSCAR II appears to have gone live in June, with a 30 September deadline for “Cycle 1” filings. It may be a few more months before the 2019-20 revenue figures are available and the accompanying National Audit Office assessment of how the tax department has performed.

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