This morning, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced that it will extend the statutory reporting deadlines for unlisted entities reporting at 30 June 2022.

Unlisted entities with balance dates from 24 June 2022 to 7 July 2022 (inclusive) will have an additional one month to lodge financial reports under Chapter 2M and Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act 2001.

The media release cites resourcing pressures as the main reason for the extensions. Many companies and audit firms are battling staff shortages due to travel restrictions, resignations, and increasing COVID-19 cases. Furthermore, current world events and changes in economic conditions may mean that pulling financial reports together will require more work, especially when it comes to making judgements around asset values and provisions. More effort may also be needed to ensure financial reports contain high-quality disclosures that address changes and events that had a significant impact on entities during the reporting period.

The one-month extension has the following implications for Chapter 2M lodgement periods of unlisted entities:

Full year financial reports
  • unlisted disclosing entities and unlisted registered schemes – extended from three to four months
  • all other unlisted entities (non-disclosing public and proprietary companies) – extended from four to five months
Half year financial reports
  • unlisted disclosing entities – extended from 75 days to 75 days plus one month

Chapter 7 reporting deadlines have been affected as follows:

  • unlisted Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensees that are bodies corporate and are also disclosing entities or registered schemes – extended from three to four months
  • unlisted AFS licensees that are body corporates and are not disclosing entities or registered schemes – extended from four to five months
  • AFS licensees that are not bodies corporate – extended from two to three months

The reporting relief does not apply to registered foreign companies.

Grandfathered proprietary companies that make use of the deadline extension relief will retain their grandfathered status. However, the directors’ report must disclose the fact that ASIC relief has been applied to report to members no later than one month after the usual reporting deadline.

Entities that are not within the scope of the latest reporting relief granted by ASIC can apply to ASIC individually for a lodgement extension. Such applications should contain sufficient information to allow ASIC to evaluate the impact of current events and conditions on the entity.

ASIC has indicated that there is no intention to grant extensions for balance dates beyond 7 July 2022, however it will continue to monitor changing market conditions and how these impact entities and audit firms.

For further information, please refer to ASIC’s media announcement.