Though no format has been prescribed for the profit and loss account, Part II to Schedule VI of the Companies Act, 1956 gives a list of items which must be disclosed in every profit & loss account. Every profit and loss account of a company must give a true and fair view of the company’s profit or loss for the financial year for which it is drawn up.
Adoption of Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Account
The Board of directors must present to the shareholders of the company, the balance sheet and a profit and loss account for the financial year at every annual general meeting. In the case of companies which are not commercial organisations such as Section 25 companies, instead if the profit & loss account, an income & expenditure account may be prepared. The profit and loss account to be placed in the FIRST annual general meeting should relate to a period beginning with the incorporation of the company and ending with a day, the interval between which and the date of the meeting does not exceed nine months. In case of subsequent annual general meetings, the profit and loss account should relate to a period beginning with a day immediately after the period for which the preceding profit & loss account was made and ending with a day, the interval between which and the date of the meeting should not exceed six months. The financial year may be more or less than a calendar year, but it must not exceed 15 months or with the special permission of the Registrar, 18 months.
If any director fails to take all reasonable steps to comply with the aforesaid requirements he is, in respect of each offence liable to be punished with imprisonment up to six months or with fine up to Rs.1,000/- or with both.
Authentication of Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Account
The balance sheet and profit & loss account of a company must be signed on behalf of the Board of directors by two directors out of whom one must be the managing director, where there is one and the manager, or secretary, if any. The balance sheet and profit and loss account must be approved by the Board of directors before they are submitted to the auditors for the purpose of audit. The report of the auditors must be attached to the balance sheet and profit & loss account.
The company and every officer of the company who is in default with the above provisions shall be punishable with the fine which may extend to Rs.500/-, if:
any copy of balance sheet and profit and loss account is issued, circulated or published, without being signed as required ; or
any copy of balance sheet is issued, circulated or published, without there being annexed or attached thereto, a copy each of the following :-
the profit and loss account;
any accounts, reports or statements pertaining to subsidiary companies which are required to be attached to the balance sheet,
the auditors’ report; and
the Report of the Board of Directors
Circulation of Balance Sheet and Auditors’ Report
A copy of every balance sheet, profit and loss account, auditors’ report and every other document required to be annexed or attached to the balance sheet must be sent not less than twenty-one days before the general meeting to every member, to every trustee for debenture holders, and to all other persons who are entitled to have a notice of general meetings. In the case of a company not having a share capital, the above documents need not be sent to a member, or debenture holder who is not entitled to have notice of general meetings.
In case of listed companies, the company may keep the aforesaid documents available for inspection at its registered office during working hours for a period of twenty-one days before the meeting and send to every member and trustee for debentureholders only a summarised statement containing the salient features of these documents in the prescribed format.
Filing of Annual Accounts with the Registrar
Every company must file with the Registrar within 30 days from the day on which the annual accounts, auditor’s report and the director’s report were presented at the annual general meeting, three certified copies of these documents signed by the managing director, manager or secretary of the company or if there be none of these by a director of the company.
These accounts may be inspected and copies thereof may be obtained by any member of the public at the Registrar of Companies on payment of the requisite fee. However, no person other than a member of the company is entitled to inspect, or obtain copies, of the profit and loss account in the case of the following types of companies :-
a private company which is not a subsidiary of public company;
a private company whose entire paid-up capital is held only by one or more bodies corporate incorporated outside India; or
a private company which is deemed to be a public company by virtue of Section 43A, if the Central Government directs that it is not in the public interest that any person other than a member of the company should be entitled to inspect or obtain copies of the profit and loss account of the company.
In case the annual general meeting of a company for any year has not been held, , 3 copies of the balance sheet and profit and loss account, duly signed, within thiry days from the latest day on or before which that meeting should have been held in accordance with the provisions of the Act must be filed with the Registrar of Companies. If for any reason, the annual general meeting before which a balance sheet is laid does not adopt it, or is adjourned without adopting the balance sheet or if the annual general meeting of a company for any year has not been held, a statement of the fact and reasons thereof must also be annexed to the balance sheet and to the copies thereof to be filed with the Registrar.
If default is made in complying with the above provisions, then the company and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs.50 for every day during the period the default continues.