Some listed entities to submit unaudited Appendix 4Es and unreviewed Appendix 4Ds to the ASX

Our May Accounting News article, ASIC extends reporting deadlines of 30 June 2020 financial statements by one month highlighted that both listed and unlisted entities will have an extra month to lodge financial statements with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for 30 June 2020. However, this raises complications for listed entities reporting to the ASX. Our article below summarises the ASX’s recent Class Waiver which explains what and when listed entities must report to the ASX for 30 June 2020 reporting dates.

In summary, the Class Waiver imposes two conditions for listed entities that lodge up to one month late:

1. In order to keep the market informed, unaudited/unreviewed financial statements must be provided to the ASX within usual lodgement deadlines, including information contained in either Appendix 4D or 4E (as applicable), and
2.

At the same time as it lodges its unaudited/unreviewed financial statements with the ASX, the entity must announce to the market that it is relying on the ASIC relief to extend the lodgement date for the audited/reviewed financial statements, AND that it will immediately make a further announcement to the market if there is a material difference between its unaudited/unreviewed financial statements and the audited/ reviewed financial statements.

Annual reporting - Appendix 4E (N/A for mining exploration entities and oil and gas exploration entities)

It is important to note that the one-month extension for lodging audited financial statements with ASIC does not change deadlines for listed entities lodging their Appendix 4E with the ASX.

Some listed entities usually file audited financial statements together with the Appendix 4E as one filing within two months of year-end. If these entities want to take advantage of the one-month extension to produce and file audited financial statements, they will need to lodge with the ASX an unaudited Appendix 4E by 31 August 2020.

The complete audited financial statements (including the directors’ declaration and the audit report), as well as the directors’ report, auditors’ independence declaration and audited remuneration report will then follow by 31 October 2020.

Annual reporting - Mining exploration entities and oil and gas exploration entities

Mining exploration entities and oil and gas exploration entities do not submit an Appendix 4E to the ASX. These entities can lodge audited financial statements with ASIC by 31 October 2020, but according to the ASX’s Class Waiver, a copy of the unaudited financial statements must be given to the ASX no later than three months after year-end (30 September 2020).

Half-year reporting - Appendix 4D reporting (N/A for mining exploration entities and oil and gas exploration entities)

Listing Rule 4.2A requires listed entities that are not mining exploration, or oil and gas exploration entities, to lodge an Appendix 4D with the ASX, accompanied by the half-year financial statements and the auditor’s review report, within two months of year-end (31 August 2020).  However, the Corporations Act only requires lodgement of the financial statements and review report within 75 days of year-end (13 September 2020).

Listed entities wishing to take advantage of the ASIC’s one-month extension will therefore be required by the ASX Class Waiver to lodge the information set out in the Appendix 4D, together with unaudited or unreviewed half-year financial statements by 31 August 2020.

The audited or reviewed financial statements, including the directors’ declaration, directors’ report and the auditors’ independence declaration can then follow to ASIC within 106 days of year-end (75 days plus 31 days), or 14 October 2020.

Half-year reporting - Mining exploration entities and oil and gas exploration entities

These entities are not required to lodge an Appendix 4D with the ASX. They simply have 75 days to lodge the audited/reviewed half-year financial statements with the ASX and ASIC. However, for entities making use of the ASIC one-month extension, the ASX Class Waiver requires the unaudited/unreviewed half-year financial statements to nevertheless be lodged with the ASX within 75 days of year-end (13 September 2020), with the audited/reviewed half-year financial statements, including the directors’ declaration, directors’ report and the auditors’ independence declaration to follow within 106 days (14 October 2020).

Keeping the market informed

For both half-year and annual reporting, and for all types of entities lodging unaudited or unreviewed information with the ASX, in order to take advantage of this ASX relief, on the date that the unaudited or unreviewed information is provided to the ASX, the entity must make an announcement to the market containing the following information:

  • That the entity is relying on the ASIC relief to extend the lodgement date by one month  for its audited or reviewed financial statements, and other documents required to be lodged with ASIC under section 319 (annual periods) or 320 (half-years)  of the Corporations Act (i.e. directors’ declaration, directors’ report and auditors’ independence declaration), and
  • That the entity will immediately make a further announcement to the market if it becomes aware that there will be a material difference between the unaudited/unreviewed financial statements and the audited/unreviewed financial statements.
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