Delay your reports, UK plc told

UK companies have been asked to postpone financial reporting to take into account impact of Covid-19 pandemic

Listed UK companies planning to report over the coming days should hold off for at least two weeks to assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said.

At least 50 UK companies were expected to report their financials by March 27 2020. The leading body in UK finance has asked that they delay to fully assess the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses and better prepare for the year ahead.

It’s the first time that UK plc has asked companies to do this. The move has been backed by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

The FRC “encourages listed companies and their auditors to consider carefully whether they should delay other corporate reports for the next two weeks, such as interim financial statements and final audited financial statements, except where necessary to meet a legal or regulatory requirement,” the watchdog said in a statement.

Reuters reports that PwC and KPMG, two of the world’s “Big Four” auditing firms, welcomed the delay.

“It is clear that given the pressures on people and the changes that we see day to day, it is in the public interest for reporting to be delayed to give companies the time to properly consider the impacts on their results,” Jon Holt, head of audit at KPMG UK, told Reuters.

The FCA, FRC and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority are expected to come out with a further package of measures, potentially this week.

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