Preparing financial statements

Common errors that cause us to reject financial statements

The financial statements you submit to the Companies Office each year must comply with generally accepted accounting practice (GAAP) and be audited by a qualified auditor. We must reject your financial statements if information is missing or incorrect.

Common reasons we reject financial statements

We must reject your financial statements if:

  • you provide an incomplete set of financial documents
  • your audit report is missing or incorrect
  • your directors' signatures are missing or incorrect
  • you include an incorrect balance date
  • your scanned documents are of a poor quality.

Check your financial statements are complete

Your financial statements must comply with GAAP, and include:

  • a statement of financial performance, or profit and loss account
  • a statement of movements in equity
  • a statement of financial position or balance sheet
  • a statement of cash flow
  • a statement of accounting policies
  • notes to the financial statements
  • an audit report, including dates and page numbers consistent with the financial statements.

Visit the External Reporting Board (XRB) website for more information about auditing and assurance standards.

Check your auditor is qualified

Your financial statements must be audited by a qualified auditor and comply with section 207B of the Companies Act 1993.

If your financial statements are audited overseas, the auditor must be registered on the Approved Overseas Auditors and Association of Accountants Register.

Approved Overseas Auditors and Association of Accountants Register

Check your directors' signatures

Your financial statements must be signed by 2 directors, or 1 if the company only has 1 director.

The directors must sign and date the financial statements before or on the same day the audit report is signed and dated.

The directors who sign the financial statements must be current directors at the date of signing. Financial statements cannot be signed by anyone other than a director.

Check your balance date

The balance date (month and year) on your financial statements must match that on your Companies Register online filing checklist.

The balance date on the financial statements of an overseas company and its NZ business must be the same.

If financial statements are submitted with an incorrect balance date they'll be rejected.

If your company balance date changes, you must request a change of financial reporting month from us prior to submitting your financial statements.

When requesting this change, ensure you attach your letter from the Commissioner of Inland Revenue confirming the change in your company's balance date.

Check the quality of your documents

Your financial statements must be clear and legible, and all information and data must be readable. For example, remove any shading of comparative figures as scanning can worsen the legibility of the image.

If you're scanning documents, ensure they're scanned upright (portrait style) and that all information is contained within the scanned page.

All help topics

Before you start a company 5 guides

Get an overview of how companies are structured, find out about the company records you need to keep, and what's involved when you incorporate with and report to the Companies Office.

Shares and shareholders 7 guides

When you incorporate, you must provide details of all company shares and shareholders. As changes occur, you must update this information on your own share register and in your company's annual return.

Company directors 7 guides

Directors have responsibilities to their company and shareholders, and under the Companies Act 1993. You must register all your directors with the Companies Office and they must sign a consent form.​

Filing annual returns 8 guides

Find out about filing an annual return — the information you need to update, how to change your filing month or request a time extension — and what happens if you don't file your annual return by the due date.

Complying with the law 11 guides

Restoring a company to the register 4 guides

Only some companies can be reinstated to the Companies Register once they've been removed. Find out who can apply, what evidence to provide and if you should apply to the Registrar or the High Court.

Managing your online account 8 guides