ASIC has announced an extension of one month to the deadline for unlisted entities to lodge their financial reports.
The extension is available to entities with year-ends between 24 June 2022 and 7 July 2022.
The extension applies to entities that are not listed, but which report under Chapter 2M of the Corporations Act 2001.
This means that:
- the deadline for unlisted disclosing entities and registered schemes is extended until 31 October 2022.
- the deadline for Proprietary Companies and other non-disclosing entities is extended to 30 November 2022.
- lodgement deadlines for Australian Financial Services Licenses, for both financial statements and for Compliance Plans, are also extended by one month.
There is no extension to reporting deadlines for listed companies, or registered foreign companies.
Ralph Martin, National Technical Director at RSM Australia commented on ASIC’s extension:
“This is a pragmatic and sensible decision from ASIC. While the immediate effects of lockdowns and border closures are thankfully over, we are still experiencing the ongoing impacts of the COVID pandemic.
The past year has seen an unprecedented level of demand for skilled accountants, which has placed severe pressure on both preparers and auditors of financial statements. We are also continuing to see elevated rates of workforce absenteeism, primarily due to continuing high rates of COVID infection."
We note that the 1-month extension for lodgement of financial reports has been in place for three years now, with no discernible adverse effect on business.
Given this, and that Australia has shorter reporting deadlines for financial reporting by private companies than many other comparable jurisdictions, we see no reason why the 1-month extension available in 2020, 2021 and 2022 should not be made permanent.
In our view, such a move would have a positive effect on the quality of financial reporting and auditing of affected entities.