10 September 2019

With 300,000 sets of accounts being due this month, September is one of the busiest months for Companies House. Many companies will have an accounting reference period which ends on the last day of the year. This means the last day to file their accounts is 30th September.

Every company must prepare accounts that report on the performance and activities of the company during the financial year, even if you’re dormant.

Here are a few tips to help you file your accounts on time during this busy period.

  1. Plan early – Start planning early for filing your accounts and make yourself aware of your company filing deadline dates. If you’re a small company, you cannot file abbreviated accounts any more. Find out your accounts filing options for small companies.
  2. File online – Most companies can file their accounts electronically, it’s faster and easier. Companies House have significantly improved their digital services, so it has never been easier to file your accounts online and on time.
  3. Email reminders – You can sign up to receive email reminders. These can be sent to up to 4 email addresses.
  4. Avoid rejection – Their online service has inbuilt checks to make sure all of the relevant information is provided before you can submit. It also provides an automatic email to confirm that they’ve received your accounts. Companies House will send your another email once they’ve been accepted for filing.
  5. Paper accounts – If your have to file paper accounts, you could use a guaranteed next day delivery service. Accounts filed on paper need to be manually checked and so only happens during office hours and can take over a week to process.

Remember, it’s the date that you deliver acceptable accounts to Companies House (which meet all the relevant legal requirements), not the date that you send the accounts. If your filing deadline falls on a Sunday or Bank Holiday, you’re still required by law to file accounts by that date.

Failure to deliver accounts on time is a criminal offence. In addition, the law imposes a civil penalty for late filing of accounts on the company. The amount of the penalty depends on how lkate the accounts arrive and whether the company is private or public.

To use the online filing service, you’ll need your authentication code. If you’ve lost or cannot remember your code, you can request a new one. This can only be sent by post so allow 5 days for it to arrive.

If you employ an accountant, all of these tasks will be done for you but it might be worth checking that all is in hand. Ultimately, it’s the director’s responsibility to make sure the company accounts are filed on time. If you aren’t sure when your accounts are due, you can check your accounting reference period and filing date on the Companies House Service.

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