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Background and Objective: The Bankruptcy Law defines the debtor’s insolvency and sets the deadline for submitting a bankruptcy petition. Determining the reasonable time to submit the petition is crucial for the debtor’s management board. Exceeding this deadline has negative consequences in the form of personal liability for the company’s debts tow its creditors. For a creditor, it is a cut-off point from which, under certain conditions, it may pursue its claims directly against members of the management board. This article addresses the issue of using data from the financial statements as a source for determining the right moment for limited liability companies (pol. spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością; spółka z o.o.) to make a decision to file for bankruptcy. The article aims to check whether the financial statement is a sufficient source of data to determine whether the premises of bankruptcy defined
in the Bankruptcy Law have occurred, by applying two criteria: delay in the performance of obligations (liquidity criterion) and the value of monetary liabilities exceeding the value of assets (balance sheet criterion).

Study Design/Materials and Methods: The article is a research study, it shows the results of the analysis of the age of overdue liabilities and the occurrence of a surplus of liabilities over the value of assets, based on the financial statements of companies in respect of whom bankruptcy was announced shortly after the date on which the financial report used in the study was prepared.

Results: In the analysed financial statements, both criteria for filing a petition for bankruptcy were shown to be simultaneously fulfilled for only 11% of cases (number of companies: 8), while, conversely, the failure to meet any of these criteria was shown for as much as 44% of cases (number of companies: 31). At the same time, there were other selected criteria, not specified in the Bankruptcy Law, that were met to a greater extent, such as e.g. negative equity for the year preceding the declaration of bankruptcy, which was shown for 71% of companies that did not meet any of the insolvency criteria under the Bankruptcy Law (number
of companies: 22).

Practical implications: The wide scope of information contained in the financial statements provides much wider possibilities for assessing insolvency in the case of using a larger set of values and indicators than just the two defined based on the premises for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Law.

Conclusion and summary: The conducted research of the limited liability companies’ financial statements prepared in the period immediately preceding the publication of information about the declaration of their bankruptcy in the Court and Commercial Gazette, proves that applying only the premises of Bankruptcy Law is insufficient to determine the appropriate moment for submitting a bankruptcy petition with the court.


bankruptcy proceedings, insolvency, financial statement, premises for bankruptcy


Vol. 1 No. 34 (2022)
Research article
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Karina Politowska

ABAKUS Doradztwo – Karina Politowska ##linkOpensInNewTab##

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