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Changes to the New Zealand accounting standards framework

Changes to New Zealand accounting standards framework

The new financial reporting regime is complex and involves changes to filing, preparation and audit requirements for both overseas and New Zealand-owned businesses. Depending on your circumstances, the new accounting framework could mean compliance with new standards and disclosure requirements or that general purpose financial statements are no longer required. Find out how the changes affect your business.

Ann Tod - KPMG NZ - Partner

Partner - Audit

KPMG in New Zealand


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Opting Out

All non-large New Zealand and Overseas companies with 10 or more shareholders are required to prepare general purpose financial statements and have these audited, but may opt-out (of preparation and audit, or just audit requirement) if at least 95% of the shareholders vote in favor of opting out.

Similarly large* New Zealand companies (with less than 25% overseas ownership) may opt-out of the audit requirement if at least 95% vote in favour of opting out. Large* companies cannot opt-out of preparing general purpose financial statements.

Resolutions must be passed at the earliest of:

  • 6 months from the start of the accounting period; or
  • The date of the annual general meeting (AGM) to be held in the accounting period.

Opting in

All companies that are not 'large', and that have fewer than 10 shareholders don't have to prepare general purpose financial statements or have an audit. However, they may opt-in to the regime if shareholders of the company holding at least 5% of the voting shares pass a resolution to comply.



'Large' companies are defined as:

  • New Zealand companies (that are not subsidiaries of an overseas entity),with assets greater than $60 million or revenue greater than $30 million for the two preceding periods; or
  • New Zealand companies (that are subsidiaries of an ultimate overseas entity), with assets greater than $20 million or revenue greater than $10 million for the two preceding periods.
An Overseas company or New Zealand Branch of an Overseas company, with assets greater than $20 million or revenue greater than $10 million for the two preceding periods, cannot opt-out of preparation nor audit. Such Overseas companies are required to register audited financial statements or audited group financial statements with the New Zealand Companies Office.

© 2020 KPMG, a New Zealand partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (KPMG International), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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