Final dates are yet to be confirmed, but we believe that the very latest date by which small companies will have to adopt New UK GAAP is for periods beginning on or after 1st January 2016 (compared with periods beginning on or after 1st January 2015 for medium and large sized companies).
A small company complying with the requirements of FRS 102 for small companies will therefore have to prepare its first set of accounts for a period not later than year ended 31st December 2016 and where there are any changes of accounting policy, the company will have to restate its opening balances and comparatives in the same way that medium and large companies have had to, only one year later.
The FRC are considering offering additional transition provisions which could involve specific exemptions, but currently we have little idea what these might be. They have said that they will give consideration to the 'availability of historical data'.
It is possible that earlier adoption may be allowed but we may be waiting a few weeks for confirmation of this possibility. A government response to the comments on the consultation is expected in early 2015 and the Companies Act is due to be amended by July 2015, which presumably will require draft legislation in the spring.
Working backwards from a period end of 31st December 2016 gives a transition date of 1st January 2015, this being the earliest date for which appropriate restated figures will be needed in the accounts, and if the small company is being audited, the auditors will need sufficient appropriate audit evidence for material balances at that date (effectively as at 31st December 2014). If auditors subsequently find they do not have that evidence they may need to modify the first audit report under new UK GAAP.
It is frustrating that we are about to pass that transition date without actually knowing exactly what will happen and when, but please build this probability into your planning for 31st December 2014 year-ends.
*New UK GAAP will affect figures from at latest 31st December 2014 even though we won't use the revised figures until possibly 2017!*