Consolidated Accounts – Trend Towards Breaking Up Groups

The Companies (Accounting) Act 2017 has had a big impact on the number of groups required to prepare and file consolidated accounts.  The first wave of companies affected were those with years ending 31 December 2017.

The old and new thresholds are set out below. The amounts specified are the combined amounts of the holding company and its subsidiaries. Groups that meet two out of three of the size criteria in relation to the current and previous financial years lose or gain the status.

While the filing in Companies Office of consolidated financial statements allows creditors, employees and other stake-holders gain a financial understanding of the group as a whole, the downside is the higher compliance costs and competitors gaining an advantage.

Section 357 guarantee

Under the previous Act, consolidated accounts could be filed in the Companies Office without the requirement to file the stand-alone financial statements of the subsidiaries if a “Section 17” guarantee was provided by the holding company.  The “Section 17” guarantee covered all the liabilities reflected in the financial statements.  “Section 357” now over-writes “Section 17” and the guarantee now covers all commitments entered, not just those reflected as liabilities.  As an example, this now incorporates future lease payments or other similar future commitments and as such is a more onerous guarantee.

New Interest Deductibility Rules

Based on the proposals under the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (“ATAD”), interest deductibility could be limited to 30% of EBITDA and each Group will have a threshold of c.€3m before the limitation rules apply.  More will be known on the EU ATAD restrictions later in 2019.  Its introduction may see Groups being dis-assembled to make the best use of the threshold or creation of new groups.

Group Directors are examining re-structure options to avoid filing of consolidated accounts and to maximise future loan interest deductions.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Paul Leonard, Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email: pleonard@cooneycarey.ie

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Posted on April 9, 2019 by Paul Leonard

Fraud – Change Of Bank Details

These cases though widely known of are unfortunately still commonplace.  The fraudster manages to change the bank payment details of a legitimate supplier so that the payment is diverted to the fraudster.

They do this by sending forged or altered versions of legitimate documents, invoices and/or emails that then flow through the organisation’s normal payment system.

The fraudster normally obtains data such as company invoices, via email phishing attacks and spyware or from colluding insiders.

The fraudsters often pay “runners” as fronts to open bank accounts into which conned organisations unwittingly send their payments.  By the time the legitimate supplier contacts the organisation for payment, the fraudster has withdrawn the funds or transferred them.

The runners are identified by the banks and sometimes apprehended but not always prosecuted because they often seek ignorance.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Paul Leonard, Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email: pleonard@cooneycarey.ie

If this article helped you, please share it with other businesses.

Posted on April 3, 2019 by Paul Leonard

A No-Deal Brexit Remains Very Much On The Cards

Overview

Forecasting what turn Brexit is going to take next, remains extremely difficult – when so much remains unknown. However, the possibility of a no deal Brexit remains very likely outcome, even considering the most recent extension in departure date from 29th March to 12th April. Below are some scenarios that could occur in the coming weeks.

Mrs May Resigns

A no-deal Brexit could be delayed if Theresa May was ousted as prime minister. The EU would accept a request for a further delay in such a situation. Albeit the existing problems regarding Brexit would remain. The EU have insisted that they will not renegotiate Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement.

Article 50 Withdrawn

The petition asking the British Government to revoke Article 50 has received over 5.3 million signatures as at 11 pm Sunday 24th March. This petition included with 1 million people marching on parliament requesting a second referendum. It remains unlikely that this pressure will result in a second referendum. 

Mrs May Enforces Exit Without a Deal

If Mrs May manages to hang on in Downing Street, the Prime Minister could force a no deal exit if she so wishes. The UK parliament has not taken no-deal off the table.

Customs Union with EU

A customs union with the EU is the most promising alternative to Mrs May deal. It would only require moderate changes to the political declaration. There is however a significant risk of the second referendum supporters refusing to accept a customs union as a compromise.

No Option – Including Customs Union

This is the most likely of the scenarios. This option could receive backing in the House of Commons. The Prime Minster goes back to EU without a plan. EU27 subsequently refuse to grant any more delays. Thus, triggering a hard Brexit.

ESRI Report on impact of Brexit on Irish economy

The ESRI have studied 3 scenarios on Brexit an estimate that in a hard Brexit scenario the Irish economy could contract by as much as 5% over 10 years, while employment would be 3.4% lower over that same period or 77,500 fewer jobs. This disorderly scenario would also mean real wages would decrease by 1.4% relative to consumption.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Colin O’Brien, Corporate Finance Director at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email: cobrien@cooneycarey.ie

To keep in touch, connect with our friendly team on LinkedIn.

If you found this article interesting, please share it with other businesses. 

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Posted on March 27, 2019 by Colin O'Brien

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