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HMRC internal manual

Senior Accounting Officer Guidance

About Senior Accounting Officer provisions: commencement

The Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) provisions impose obligations on a qualifying company, see SAOG11000, and its SAO, see SAOG12000. The obligations are for financial years that begin on or after 21 July 2009.

A financial year is the financial year of the company, see SAOG10500.


A company’s financial year ends on 31 December. The first financial year to begin after 21 July 2009 begins on 1 January 2010. So the SAO provisions first apply to the financial year ended 31 December 2010. They apply to all subsequent financial years for which the company is a qualifying company.