Filing accounts and statements with Companies House is a legal requirement and failing to do so on time can lead to costly fines for companies (up to £1,500 for private companies and £7,500 for public companies).
Filing end of year statements and accounts can be a busy and stressful time for a business’ finance team, but especially for accounting firms and practitioners, which could be dealing with dozens or hundreds of clients’ accounts.
The challenge is made even greater given that 16% of SMEs do nothing to record business transactions and leave this to their accountant to fill in before their yearly tax return, while 27% use different systems like Excel or another spreadsheet application – according to research by UK200Group.
Accounting software and technology is making the day-to-day management of accounts much easier by promoting collaboration, real-time monitoring and electronic filing, and these systems are also making it much easier for companies and accountants to meet end of year deadlines.
Speed and efficiency
Companies House has made it easier to file end of year accounts by enabling electronic submissions, but this still leaves inefficiencies in that entries must still be entered manually and relies on businesses to have reliable filing to easily find documents.
The administration involved in finding and entering data therefore can remain significant.
New accounting software however removes this administrative burden by providing a platform where files can be stored and managed in a central location, ensuring documents are readily available when needed.
Systems like Caseware Cloud for example can integrate accounting platforms directly with Companies House e-filing module, meaning company accounts can not only be managed and edited and compiled quickly but can also be filed within minutes.
Real time tracking
Dealing with multiple clients’ accounts submissions can be a test for any accountant but especially if submissions are paper-based or when details are being pulled from different locations and filings completed bit by bit.
In these situations, it can be easy to lose track of where submission completions are and for deadlines to be missed.
Being able to track and monitor multiple submissions from a single place would remove much of this burden and make it far easier for accountants to keep track of client submissions and ensure they file everything when they need to.
As with everything in business, the success of a new system or platform is ultimately judged on whether it can produce a more cost-effective way of carrying out tasks.
Compiling and filing end of year accounts can be one of the most inefficient processes in businesses and accounting firms – both in terms of time and money – so having a platform which streamlines the day-to-day management and storage of accounting data and the enables this information to be submitted almost instantly certainly meets the efficiency criteria.
Missing filing deadlines with Companies House can be significantly damaging to a business so it makes sense to do everything possible to ensure deadlines or not missed and fines are avoided.