"Statutory Accounts"

Mike or Penny Novack stepbystepfarm at mtdata.com
Sun Nov 29 12:55:32 EST 2009

Rick Griffiths wrote:

>I'm new to this list, but I've been using GNUCash for some time, so do tell
>me off if I'm asking something obvious/already answered - I couldn't find
>any mention in the archives...
>I run a small company (in the UK) and use GNUCash's business modules to do
>most of my accounting. I've come to my end-of-year and need to produce
>something called 'statutory accounts', which an accountant I saw claims are
>normally a feature of finance packages - I looked through GNUCash's reports
>operations but couldn't find anything by that name- I wonder if there is an
>analogous set of reports which fulfil the same criteria?
There probably are. This is most likely a "language" problem. What the 
"standard" reports are named is going to be different not only country 
by country but also sometimes by "type of entity". Thus when I am 
keeping books for a "non-profit" the report GnuCash calls "Income 
Statement" would be called "Statement of Revenues" and a for profit 
business would call it the "Profit and Loss Statement". Same report with 
different title on top.

> I've also seen something recently about accounts needing to be sent in XBRL
>format - any idea on whether this is a feature (maybe this should be
>directed at the 'dev' list?)
I would say not. The file format in which various filings must be made 
is outside the scope when you consider how many (different) ones there 
would be. Normally it isn't the output from the reporting system of the 
accounting software which you file directly but that data copied into a 
document of the required format. See the problem? If you purchase a 
commercial accounting package "for small businesses in the UK" yes, it 
might provide that feature (produce the reports in the final format for 
direct filing). But be utterly useless "for small businesses in the US" 
(or France or wherever).

You need to find out "what is the XBRL format?" and "what editors can 
produce output in this format?"

>I'm attempting to do most of my accounts by hand, firstly for the
>experience, but mostly because my company's profits are tiny even without
>accounting expenses!
>I'm guessing a lot of people will have needed to do this in the past, so I'm
>wondering if anyone has any advice?
If you knew how to do it "by hand" (actually knew how, old fashioned 
accounting pen and ink on paper) then you probably wouldn't be asking 
the question that you are. You'd know what those reports were for 
example and could spot the GnuCash equivalents by some other name. Rick, 
try asking your accountant "what would these reports be called in 
traditional accounting language?" (not in reference to UK tax laws, etc.).

Michael D Novack, FLMI

There is no possibility of social justice on a dead planet except the equality of the grave.

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