Electronic Companies House should get new remit

by Martin Williams

More from this author

08 Mar 2011

  • Comments
Companies House new logo

THE RECENT NEWS that Companies House will move to electronic filing of statutory annual returns and accounts in 2013 could spell good news for its users. Receiving accounts information in xbrl digitised format instead of paper will provide an opportunity for the house to do some validation checking before it offers it up for public consumption.

Visitors to the Companies House website will see a disclaimer there saying that at the present time, information received by its staff is done so in good faith, and that no checking of the data is undertaken. There are two big reasons why not; one is that the paper format gives very little opportunity to run checks on the content, and two, Companies House does not have it in its remit to do validation checks to ensure the information is "kosher".

Potential fraudsters know this....that's why many fictitious sets of accounts are being filed on recently acquired shelf companies for the purpose of tricking trade suppliers into providing goods with no intention of paying for them. Fortunately, the main credit reference agencies like Graydon do run such checks once the house's information hits their databases because by that stage, data is digitised and therefore "checkable".

Electronic filing in 2013 will, for the very first time, gives Companies House the chance to validate the data it offers up to the public...but will the Government grasp the nettle and plan to provide officials at Companies House with the remit to do so? A question for BIS to ponder on over the next few months. I know what I would recommend. The public deserves to trust in information that it is asked to pay good money for.

Visitor comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
display:none

Add your comment

We won't publish your address


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions

Your comment will be moderated before publication

Submit
  • Send
HM Revenue & Customs

Head Of Financial Control

HM Revenue & Customs, Telford, Full Time, Permanent/p>

 

Newsletters

Get the latest financial news sent directly to your inbox

  • Best Practice
  • Business
  • Daily Newsletter
  • Essentials

Careers

Search for jobs
Click to search our database of all the latest accountancy roles

Create a profile
Click to set up your profile and let the best recruiters find you

Jobs by email
Sign up to receive regular updates with the latest roles suitable for you

Briefings

budget-management

Why budgeting fails: One management system is not enough

If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.

cchcover

iXBRL: Taking stock. Looking forward

In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.