Change in the reporting period and comparatives
Our company decided to change its financial year. The current reporting year is from 1st January to 31st December and the new one will be from 1st April to 31st March.
How shall we present this change? Are there any disclosures we need to make? What to do with comparatives?
I would advise to prepare the financial statement for shorter period from 1 January till 31 March and then start the new financial year.
In this case, the previous reporting period (of 1 year) is not fully comparable with the current reporting period (of 3 months).
This is permitted by IAS 1, however you should state:
- Why you are presenting the period shorter than one year; and
- The information that the amounts presented are not fully comparable.
I would like to mention that instead of using shorter period in order to change to the new reporting, you can also use longer period; thus instead of having the new period of 3 months, you could simply continue in the same reporting year until 31st March and thus present 15 months, not 3 months.
Please see IAS 1.36.
To illustrate the above, let’s say XYZ’s reporting period is from 1 January to 31 December.
The management decided that due to the pattern of revenues, the reporting period will change to start on 1 April.
The first annual reporting period after the change will be from 1 April 20X2 to 31 March 20X3.
There are two alternatives to do this:
- Use shorter period: Here, your transitory period would be 3 months from 1 January 20X2 to 31 March 20X2 and the comparative period would be 1 year from 1 January 20X1 to 31 December 20X1.
- Use longer period: Here, the transitory period would be 15 months from 1 January 20X1 to 31 March 20X2 and the comparative period would be 1 year from 1 January 20X0 to 31 December 20X0.
I must say though that in many countries it is possible to include max. 1 year in the tax return, so option n. 2 would not be practical, since you would need to prepare annual financial statements and then 3-month financial statements due to tax reasons. So, check your tax legislation.
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