Share this content
0
15
2697

Companies House incompetence

Logged into Companies House WebFiling and requested information on three companies. I received an email for one company.

I phone Companies House and was told there's nothing wrong with their systems and I should try again.

I said that's not true. They put me through to WebFiling and they admitted there's a problem with their systems. If you want information for more than one company you have to log out and log back in again. I ask why this isn't made clear and why it hasn't been corrected in the last year?

This is just one of many problems with Companies House. They are incompetent and the chief executive should resign.

Replies

Please login or register to join the discussion.

Reporting Companies House

Why don't we select someone in the government (Vince Cable??) to bombard with complaints?

Surely there are enough people on AccountingWeb with real life experience of Cos House incompetence that we can actually get something done?

Does anyone else have a much better idea of how we proceed to get things changed?

Thanks (0)

Why don't you.....

... open an account with Companies House direct? Or have you already? We use it extensively with virtually no problems.

Thanks (0)

Companies House Direct not relevant in this situation

The particular problem I had was to do with WebFiling where I want to check that the company information held by Companies House is correct and the directors confirm it before I submit an annual return.

If I regularly looked up information for non-clients I'd like Companies House Direct because it's a pain paying £1 or £2 at a time.

Thanks (0)

Customer "satisfaction" survey

http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/about/custSatSurvey.shtml

Click here, it says and make your views known!

Down in Dorset there is a man who is doing a traffic protest by pressing the crossing sign which keeps stopping the traffic. Do you think that if we keep completing this survey it will stop the servers so that they actually take notice?

Thanks (0)

I'm not sure

of your exact problem with this Peter.

A Companies House Direct subscription is £5 per month and each document downloaded is £1. I provide a search service for my clients or merely check their own historical details using the service. My total spend is around £150 per year and this includes "curiosity" searches. All of my clients are impressed that I can sometimes pass an opinion on a company with whom they're about to deal.

It also has the advantage of comparing one's own disclosure procedures with others although you will be shocked at some of the stuff that Companies House accepts (but as they conveniently point out when it suits them, they are only a filing service).

I've never had a problem with the service and would consider it an integral part of the service I provide.

Tom Egerton

 

 

 

Thanks (0)

@Tom

"My total spend is around £150 per year"

That is about £150 too much for me, I spend a fortune on software as it is!

Peter's comment is in relation to Webfiling which is free and is the method most of us use to check and see what has been filed - most importantly to check that that which has been filed is showing up on the Companies House records. I don't want to download other people's accounts, if I do that I pay my £1.

Service what service?

Thanks (0)

Fair enough Anonymous

I take your point about the cost.

All I was saying was that the £150 spent is not without benefit. I get quite a few requests for searches because clients know I provide the service. Most of the time the search is fruitless because of small company minimum disclosure but occasionally I hit the jackpot and recently saved my client £5K by her collecting a cheque in person from a patently insolvent company.

I also believe that no two accountants will produce identical accounts given the same information. Looking at others' efforts sometimes enables me to introduce improvements and refinements to my own presentation of information. That said, I am probably one of the rare breed that doesn't rely on software (apart from tax return software) to produce a set of accounts.

Tom Egerton

Thanks (0)

Why is Companies House Direct better?

You are paying £1 a document; we are paying £1 a document.

You are paying £5 a month; we are paying nothing.

Although there may be some packages that are cheaper for you I fail to see how you are better off than us except in how you pay.

"That said, I am probably one of the rare breed that doesn't rely on software (apart from tax return software) to produce a set of accounts."

All that means is that you are less efficient. When I used Excel and Word to produce accounts it was a nightmare.

Thanks (0)

Tom, I wonder if you could help me. Does your £5 sub / per month allow you to search and view documents, but that the download costs £1? As a small add-on question do you use the monitor service? Or come to that any other services?

Thanks (0)

Sorry I got involved in this

I've never said Companies House Direct was better or worse than anything else, merely that it suits me.

It's £5 per month to join plus £1 per document to download (and view) - you can't view without downloading. Perhaps I've been lucky but I've never had a problem using web filing and since I print everything before I press the "submit" button I've got a hard copy on file. For annual returns you know a year later that Companies House haven't filed something wrongly.

I use what I consider to be a good value service for (a) providing a search facility (b) CPD in the form of cribbing others' efforts, (c) MLR purposes for new limited company clients where I need to verify beneficial ownership,  (d) double checking that client company accounts have been logged on to the system (as I submit postally) and (e) sometimes downloading historical accounts where I've inherited a client. Since limited company work is a relatively well paid part of my work, I'm happy to pay out for this facility.

I agree that Companies House has gone downhill since Claire Clancy went, but it was inevitable that those excellent standards would not be maintained particularly with a new (main) Companies Act being introduced after 20 years.

 

Thanks (0)

Is it sensible paying £5 per month for no benefit?

“Sorry I got involved in this

I've never said Companies House Direct was better or worse than anything else, merely that it suits me.”

If you suggest using something that appears to cost £5 per month more for no apparent improvement you must expect people to disagree with you.

If you have three clients with similar annual return dates and you request company information it makes sense that you would expect to be sent that company information especially if you get a messaging saying that the company information will be sent to you.

Companies House have known for over a year that you have to log out and log back in before they will fulfil a second request yet they have not corrected the problem.

I also pointed out to them that I have seen the submission deadline for accounts be wrong by a day and they told me they’d corrected it. When I saw the same error again they said that an upgrade had reinstated the error!

Thanks (0)

You're right Peter

Sorry.

Thanks (0)

Messing about paying a few pounds at a time

I have an account with Companies House which I use to pay monthly for annual return submissions but I still have to pay for downloads separately a few pounds at a time. It would be great if the account can be combined to accept both.

Thanks (0)

Hang on a minute....

We don't pay £5 a month for Companies House Direct - just for whatever usage we have.

And even if we did pay £5 a month wouldn't it be worth it to save the hassle you obviously get with Web Filing which we don't get with Direct?

I know which way I'd rather go!!

 

 

Thanks (0)

Are you sure?

“We don't pay £5 a month for Companies House Direct - just for whatever usage we have.

And even if we did pay £5 a month wouldn't it be worth it to save the hassle you obviously get with Web Filing which we don't get with Direct?

I know which way I'd rather go!!”

Companies House say: “At the beginning of each month you will be sent a statement and itemised invoice. All you need to pay is a subscription fee of £5 per month along with any charges for chargeable data screens or documents you may have ordered over the previous 30 days. If it’s more convenient, you can choose to pay by variable direct debit.”

Are you sure you are with Companies House Direct? It doesn’t appear to be the case according to what Companies House say.

Web Filing is free so you would suggest people should pay for something rather than avoid a poor service. Given it’s a government sanctioned monopoly I would rather kick up a fuss in an attempt to improve the service.

Thanks (0)