Administrative procedures are perceived as being cumbersome by most business owners. However it is very important to be extremely accurate in reporting for 2 main reasons. Primarily to be in conformance with the requirements of laws and regulations, and also because reporting all the financial information needed to monitor the health of the business.
Accounting records must be available for inspection at all times, and explain transactions to facilitate the preparation of financial statements. The records are usually kept at the registered office of the company in Malta.
Companies are obliged to keep proper records which give an overall view of the company's results and transactions, and to file an annual return and financial statements with the Registrar of Companies.
Maintaining the bookkeeping comprises of recording the transactions in the cash book, books of prime entry, nominal ledger, the purchases and sales ledger, and other books. Normally, companies utilise accounting software in order to record the day to day transactions.
Companies are required to make an annual inventory containing a description and valuation of the whole estate, whatever may be their nature and origin. An inventory is made up of assets held for sale in the ordinary course of business, in the process of production for such sale or in the form of materials or supplies to be consumed in the production process or in the rendering of services.
Every company shall prepare for each accounting period individual accountscomprising of the balance sheet, the profit and loss account for that period, the notes to the accounts and any other financial statements which may be required by generally accepted accounting principles and practice.
Independent auditors are to be appointed to hold office from each annual general meeting to the next.
Auditors are required to make a report to the shareholders on every set of financial statements furnished to the shareholders at the annual general meeting.
The auditor's report must be drawn up in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and should state whether in the auditors' opinion the annual accounts have been properly prepared in accordance with the Companies Act
STORAGE AND SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS
Every company shall retain the accounting records for a period of ten years at the company's registered office. Companies are also required to submit to the Registrar of Companies a copy of the annual accounts. These must generally be accompanied by a copy of the auditors' report and the directors' report.
The annual accounts must be filed within ten months from the end of the financial year.
An annual return should also be forwarded to the Registrar upon each anniversary of its registration within 42 days after the date to which it is made up.
Through the ROC Online System
, companies are provided with the functionality for electronic forms (such as Annual Returns, Memorandum and Articles of Association, etc..) to be filed and signed electronically using a personal digital certificate.
DISCLOSURE AND PUBLICATION
Every company is obliged to draw up its financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards for each accounting period. This includes the financial statements, audit report, directors' report and the notes to the accounts.
However, certain companies designated as 'small companies' under the Companies Act may draw up an abridged balance sheet, an abridged layout of the profit and loss account and abridged notes to the accounts.
Other companies falling under a certain threshold stipulated in the Companies Act are exempt from the requirements concerning the audit of their accounts; such companies may draw up abridged accounts.
In the case of listed companies, their Annual Financial Report shall include:
- annual financial statements together with the Directors' Report or equivalent, and the auditors' report;
- a statement of responsibility;
- a report by the Directors on their compliance with the Code of principles for Good Corporate Governance; and
- a report by the auditors on compliance with the Code of principles for Good Corporate Governance.
The company must ensure that its Annual Financial Report is made available to the public at the latest 4 months after the end of each financial year, and that it remains publicly available for a period of at least 5 years. The information shall be deemed to be available to the public when published in one or more widely circulated newspapers and in an electronic form on the website.
Companies and individuals are required to issue invoices or fiscal receipts for goods and services delivered to their customers. These documents must be issued on paper or electronically at the time of transaction, or if the recipient is a company or professional, within the next month. They must be kept on file for 5 years.