Most people won't want to read this - and that's fine - leave it to your accountant. But for those who want to understand a bit more, here's a very simple summary. If you want more detail, there's plenty online. But a word of warning - if you're a registered charity you don't get away that easily. Sadly even though money is often very tight in charities, they still have to comply with much the same standards as business enterprises, albeit at a secondary level rather than the top. A second warning - if you have more than 10 shareholders you could also be caught unless you opt out in time.


For years we've operated under a four-tier structure for accounts. Most of the time we have used levels 3 or 4. Levels 1 and 2 are for larger enterprises. There isn't a great difference between the accounts we do and those the big boys do. But whereas ours take about 10 pages, the big boys can take 50 or 100 pages. Those extra pages include explanations of the company, it's business and what's changed, details of various items in the accounts, and so on.

As from 1 April 2014, the two XRB standards have largely been retained, but the others have gone - it's now up to each business.

Actually, that's not quite right - and may be the source of much confusion. IRD introduced new standards to replace them. Instead of volumes of standards, the IRD standards are summarised on one page:


Financial reporting standards by IRD


You may feel like I'm cheating saying one page - a web page can be longer than a printed page - but the standard starts halfway down the web page. The first response is likely to be "that's incredibly simple - where's the rest". However, there are a couple of issues I'd like to point out.