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Let’s Compare – Books of Accounts

Sl. No. Particulars Companies Act, 1956 Companies Act, 2013 Difference
1. Books of accounts etc., to be kept by the Company As per Section 209: Every company has to keep at its registered office, proper books of accounts pertaining to list of books of accounts as prescribed in Section 209(1)(a) to (d) which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company including that of its branch office. As per Section 128: Every Company shall prepare and keep at its registered office books of account, other relevant books and papers and financial statements for every financial year which give a true and fair view of the state of the affairs of the company, including that of its branch office or offices, if any. The Companies Act, 1956 covered list of books of accounts to be kept by a Company. But in addition to books of accounts, the Companies Act, 2013 covered financial statements, other relevant books and papers to be kept by a Company for every financial year.
2. Maintenance of books of accounts in electronic mode As per proviso to Section 209(1)(d): Books of account of a Company may be kept at such other place in India as decided by the Board of directors.

As per first proviso to Section 128(1): Books of account of a Company may be kept at such other place in India as decided by the Board of directors.

As per second proviso to Section 128(1): A Company may keep books of account or other relevant papers in electronic mode as prescribed in Rule 3 of Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014.

The maintenance of books of accounts and other books and papers in electronic mode is permitted now and it is optional.
3. Maintenance of books of accounts of Brach Office As per Section 209(2): The branch of the company, if any, in India or outside India shall also keep the books of accounts as stated above for the transactions effected at the branch office. Further such branch office is required to send the proper summarized returns made up-to-date at intervals of not exceeding 3 (three) months, to the Company at its registered office or the other places as decided by the board. As per Section 128(2): The branch of the company, if any, in India or outside India shall also keep the books of accounts as stated above for the transactions effected at the branch office. Further such branch office is required to send the proper summarized returns periodically to the Company at its registered office or the other places as decided by the board. Now, instead of sending summarized returns of transactions taking place at the branch office at intervals of three months, they shall be sent periodically. No specific period has been specified.
4. Inspection of books of accounts Books of account and other books and papers shall be open to inspection by any director during business hours. 

Books of account and other books and papers maintained within India shall be open for inspection at the registered office of the company or at such other place in India by any director during business hours. If financial information is maintained outside the country, copies of such information shall be maintained and produced for inspection by any director.

Inspection in respect of subsidiary of a company shall be done only by the person authorised in this behalf by a resolution of the Board of Directors.

The Companies Act, 2013 provided inspection of books of accounts within India and outside India separately:

Books of accounts maintained within India: Shall be open for inspection during business hours.

Outside India: If financial information is maintained outside the country, copies of such information shall be produced for inspection by any director.

Now, the director of a Company is permitted to inspect the books of accounts of the subsidiary with the authority of the Board of Directors.

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