Companies Act, 1963

Keeping of books of account.

147.—(1) Every company shall cause to be kept proper books of account relating to—

(a) all sums of money received and expended by the company and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place;

(b) all sales and purchases of goods by the company;

(c) the assets and liabilities of the company.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), proper books of account shall not be deemed to be kept in relation to the matters aforesaid if there are not kept such books as are necessary to give a true and fair view of the state of the company's affairs and to explain its transactions.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the books of account shall be kept at the registered office of the company or at such other place as the directors think fit, and shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection by the directors.

(4) If books of account are kept at a place outside the State, there shall be sent to, and kept at a place in the State and be at all reasonable times open to inspection by the directors such accounts and returns relating to the business dealt with in the books of account so kept as will disclose with reasonable accuracy the financial position of that business at intervals not exceeding 6 months and will enable to be prepared in accordance with this Act the company's balance sheet, its profit and loss account or income and expenditure account, and any document annexed to any of those documents giving information which is required by this Act and is thereby allowed to be so given.

(5) Every record required to be kept under this section shall be preserved by the company for a period of six years after the date to which it relates.

(6) If any person being a director of a company fails to take all reasonable steps to secure compliance by the company with the requirements of this section, or has by his own wilful act been the cause of any default by the company thereunder, he shall, in respect of each offence be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding £100 or to both, so, however, that—

(a) in any proceedings against a person in respect of an offence under this section consisting of a failure to take reasonable steps to secure compliance by the company with the requirements of this section, it shall be a defence to prove that he had reasonable ground to believe and did believe that a competent and reliable person was charged with the duty of seeing that those requirements were complied with and was in a position to discharge that duty; and

(b) a person shall not be sentenced to imprisonment for such an offence unless, in the opinion of the court dealing with the case, the offence was committed wilfully.