Audit Exemption - saving costs for your business

Business owners of limited companies are required by statute to have an annual audit carried out which obviously adds to professional fees and compliance costs. However, many small companies can avail of the audit exemption by fulfilling certain criteria:
• Annual Turnover less than €7.3 million
• Balance Sheet Total of less than €3.65 million
• 50 or fewer employees (*Note 1)
The above conditions must be met in the current and preceding year of trading. In addition, the company must not be:
• A Holding or Subsidiary Company (ie in a Group)
• A public company limited by guarantee
• A banking, insurance, investment or financial company
Most significantly, the company must be up to date in filing its Annual Returns (B1 and attached abridged accounts) to the CRO. Missing deadlines will therefore incur late filing fees and the obligation to have your accountant carry out a statutory audit.
Accounts Filing Requirements
Audit Exemption removes the need for a statutory audit but accounts still need to be prepared by your accountant following Accounting Standards and compliant with Companies Acts which are to be filed with the CRO. In addition, the accounts will also form the basis of Corporation Tax calculations which are returned to the Revenue Commissioners.
Note 1: Latest Development
In December 2011 it was announced that the thresholds will be increased again to the EU maximum (Turnover of €8.8 million and Balance Sheet Total of €4.4 million) which will mean that more companies will be able to avail of the exemption in filing audited accounts. 
For more information on audit exemption or to receive a quote for accounts compliance services, call McCarthy & Co on 01 444 5260.