A Statement of Affairs (SOA) is a critically important document within the insolvency process that provides an overview of the company assets and liabilities. It must be verified by a statement of truth.
Statement of Affairs: Definition
The statement of affairs is an official document which details a companies assets and liabilities. In UK law it is most commonly used during insolvency events to provide a concise summary of the corporate situation.
It gives gives the Insolvency Practitioner the opportunity to assess everything the company may own, as well as details of fixed or floating charges.
Once completed, the Statement of Affairs has to be filed at Companies House by the Insolvency Practitioner. It’s intended first and foremost as a source of information for company creditors and shareholders, although potential buyers of the insolvency company will also find it useful.
The SOA is a crucial step in insolvency procedures, so completing it correctly is a must, and all the information has to be accurate and true. You will need to provide full details, precise dates and amounts requested.
- Company Asset valuations
- The most recent balance sheet and management accounts
- A complete list of employees (addresses, salaries, start dates etc), trade creditors, suppliers
- Details on VAT and PAYE position (amount owed/unpaid)
- Amounts owed to the bank (including any director/shareholder loans)
- Details of any existing debts
The SOA document is used in the following insolvency events:
If the company enters into Administration, the Administrator will require the Directors to produce a Statement of Affairs to be contained within the Administrators’ Proposals
In a CVA, the SOA will also form a section of the Proposals to creditors.
Statement of Affairs in Liquidation
In case of voluntary liquidation, the company’s financial position will be outlined at a creditors/shareholders’ meeting.
In the eventuality that the company is facing compulsory liquidation process, the Official Receiver, liquidator or the appointed Insolvency Practitioner will be in charge of preparing the Statement of Affairs at the beginning of the Winding Up.
Directors Investigations During Liquidation
One of the key functions of the statement of affairs is to provide a clear audit trail so that insolvency practitioners’ can assess whether assets has been sold in the period preceding liquidation.
Where this is found to be the case it can lead to director’s disqualification in some instances.
Due to the nature of these complex documents, it’s always preferential to have a licenced insolvency practitioner such as ourselves put them together for you. Correct valuation of all assets by acccredited third parties is a must and will be diligently investigation during any liquidation process.
What Happens if you Refuse to Produce an SOA?
In the case of failure to submit the SOA without a reasonable excuse, the nominated person is liable to a one-off fine of £5,000 and/or a daily default fine set by the court (£500).
As soon as the SOA has been completed and signed, it must be filed at Companies House by the Insolvency Practitioner, in order for it to become public record.
Difference between a Balance Sheet and Statement of Affairs?
A balance sheet is part of a financial statement, therefore it must be 100% accurate, containing no estimated figures and it has to show the company’s exact financial position.
Whilst the Statement of Affairs offers information on assets and liabilities, it doesn’t need to be correct to the penny but needs to show the best-estimated figures on the information available at the time.
The main facts you need to know about the SOA are:
- It is a document outlining a company’s financial situation, assets and liabilities;
- It is needed in various insolvency proceedings;
- It is prepared by a professional Insolvency Practitioner;
- Once completed, it is filed at Companies House to be available for public view.
The Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016. Statement of affairs and other information: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/1024/part/6/chapter/2/made?view=plainhttps://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/insolvency-service