Audit Partner at RSM Poland
Some time ago we wrote about changes pertaining to preparing financial statements and submitting them to a relevant court register, mainly about the fact that as of March 2018 they can be filed only electronically (e.g. in PDF format); yet, this form, simple as it may seem, has caused a lot of trouble, primarily due to the lack of personal identification numbers (PESEL) of board members and the lack of electronic signatures. Since filing financial statements online has proven to be troublesome, we may only guess that as of 1 October 2018 we are going to face a genuine disaster in this respect. Why is this so? Let me explain.
On 1 October 2018, the amended Accounting Act (hereinafter referred to as the AA), among others, entered into force, under which  financial statements shall be made in electronic format and shall be signed with a qualified electronic signature or a signature confirmed by a trusted ePUAP profile. Article 49 of the AA reads that financial statements of entities entered to the registry of entrepreneurs of the National Court Register shall be prepared in a logical structure and format provided in the Public Service Bulletin on the website of the office of the minister responsible for public finance. The issue is that for the time being it is difficult to find an appropriate IT tool that would provide technical support both for the submitter and the verifier. The situation is a bit easier for entities preparing their financial statements in line with IFRS, as they should also be prepared in a logical structure and in a dedicated format, provided that these are both provided in the Public Service Bulletin on the website of the office of the minister responsible for public finance; however, there are no such structures and formats for IFRS for the time being; hence, on the contrary, the financial statements can be prepared ‘the old way’, i.e. saved in PDF format and signed in this form, and then filed with the register.
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In order to dispel the doubts and answer the questions concerning the preparation of financial statements, the Ministry of Finance has published a helpful Q&A package on its website, thus offering a lot of useful information. On the basis of this package, and leaving aside the matters I have discussed here already, it is worth mentioning that:
- after 1 October 2018, financial statements can no longer be prepared on paper; a print-out of the report prepared electronically shall only be a copy of this report;
- these financial statements, in a logical structure and format provided in the Public Service Bulletin on the website of the office of the minister responsible for public finance, shall be prepared by entities entered to the registry of entrepreneurs of the National Court Register (KRS) and taxpayers of personal income tax who keep books of accounts and are obliged to prepare financial statements;
- entities entered to the registry of entrepreneurs of the National Court Register shall not be obliged to file their financial statements with the tax office.
The website of the Ministry offers information about the timing of the application of new regulations. According to the Ministry, they shall apply to financial statements prepared for the balance sheet date as at 1 October 2018 or later. However, when reading the amended AA , we can find a clear statement that provisions on electronic financial statements shall apply as of 1 October 2018, and it is not specified whether we are talking about the date for which financial statements have been prepared or the date on which they have been prepared. Thus, it seems that the interpretation of the Ministry is too broad in this case, and unfortunately, the entities preparing financial statements dated 1 October 2018 or later will have to prepare them according to the structure, format and guidelines prescribed in the new rules, regardless of the balance sheet date for which the financial statements are prepared (even if the balance sheet date is 30 September 2018).
We will keep you posted about any changes and new interpretations concerning matters discussed above.
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 The Accounting Act, on the basis of Journal of Laws of 2018, item 395, 398, 650 and 1629.
“Preparing financial statements in the logical structure and format provided in the PSB, regardless of the deadline for the annual financial report referred to in the provisions of Article 52 paragraph 1 of the Accounting Act, shall apply only to those entities, whose balance sheet date falls after the date of the entry into force of the act, i.e. as of 1 October 2018.”
 Journal of Laws of 2018, item 398 Act of 26 January 2018 amending the Act on the National Court Register and certain other acts.