No similar relief has been granted to listed entities. Listed companies with balancing dates of 31 December have already reported and there has been no extension as yet for those who balanced on 31 March. Listed entities can apply to ASIC for individual relief from their reporting obligations if they feel they are unable to meet their normal deadlines and are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Listed entities should also note the ASX’s guidance on extending reporting dates, the AICD’s analysis of it is available here.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has already provided blanket extensions to charities whose 2019 Annual Information Statement is due between 12 March and 30 August 2020 to 31 August 2020.
The AICD’s position is that there should be a blanket extension of two months for all reporting entities who are balancing from 31 December to 30 June. In an AICD webinar attended by around 400 directors, two thirds of directors polled indicated some form of extension might be necessary. We believe that the inherent uncertainty in the market means that companies should be provided with that relief.
Boards and their management teams are coping with unprecedented challenges. They need the time and space to manage their businesses through the crisis. Forcing them to spend time on compliance and reporting, as important as that is, risks removing their focus from the survival of their company. Granting reporting extensions is also in line with overseas regulators, who have largely provided blanket extensions.
We have been advocating that position to ASIC and the Government and will continue to press that case over coming weeks. We will continue to keep members informed of the progress of those discussions and other matters related to reporting and auditing.