E-filing with Companies House now available in VT

The March 2013 edition of VT Accounts (which includes the new VT Filer application) is now available as a beta version from www.vtsoftware.co.uk/vtaccounts/mar2013 (this is not the normal download page which still has the Nov 2012 version).

VT Filer has been thoroughly tested in test transmission mode with Companies House and it has been approved by Companies House. However, it would be good to hear from some users on this thread who have done some actual live submissions. As soon as that has happened VT will release it as a final version.

For those unfamiliar with e-filing, you have to apply to Companies House for a presenter ID and presenter authentication code. In addition, you need the company authentication code for each company that you file for.

Although you can just start VT Filer from its desktop shortcut and attach a set of accounts, it is usually slightly easier to do one of the following:

  • If you have already generated the iXBRL accounts file, right click on it in its folder and choose File With Companies House from the pop-up menu. This opens up VT Filer with the accounts already attached; or
  • If you do not yet have the iXBRL accounts file, choose the Generate New Submission command from the VT XBRL>Companies House menu in Excel. Behind the scenes this attaches the accounts to a new submission file and opens it up in VT Filer. You then just have to click the Submit button in VT Filer

I would welcome your feedback.

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

Comments

E-filing with Companies House

andyphil | | Permalink

Well Done VT this program just gets better and better.

Great Programme

chatman | | Permalink

andyphil wrote:
Well Done VT this program just gets better and better.

I agree. Can't wait to try it. The Companies House ridiculous pdf form was always a pain in the neck

Agree andyphil

Tosie | | Permalink

VT is fantastic and tremendous value. Congratulations all at VT.

However companies house is no longer a pdf entry.

E Filing

terry morris | | Permalink

Well done VT, I am still posting the accounts as I have found the Companies house pdf to be very poor and long winded.

Another step ahead of Sage etc.

progress

levelheaded1903 | | Permalink

[quote=andyphil]

Well Done VT this program just gets better and better.

... for someone who has been putting the accounts in the post!!! This will now spur me on to file online with Co house, and thanks with ref to the presenter info

thacca's picture

Well done

thacca | | Permalink

Well done VT. I have one to file by the end of the month; I am just waiting on the client getting me the signed copy back. I will let you know how I get on.

Yes, well done

cmg | | Permalink

I've got a client coming here this Friday to sign some accounts, and will report back.

The Companies House "abbreviated" template does thankfully appear to have been finally discarded, but their new process doesn't appear to allow for additional notes beyond the standard required set, so hopefully filing abbreviated accounts online from VT, exactly as signed, will be a pleasure. Looking forward to it.

Online filing

Ketelios | | Permalink

One query. It talks about attaching the XBRL file but is this not the full accounts data. Does it distinguish where it is only abbreviated accounts to be filed.

 

Would hate to file full accounts by mistake.

Full or abbreviated

vtsoftware | | Permalink

Ketelios wrote:

One query. It talks about attaching the XBRL file but is this not the full accounts data. Does it distinguish where it is only abbreviated accounts to be filed.

 

Would hate to file full accounts by mistake.

You can choose to generate the iXBRL accounts for either the full or abbreviated accounts. If you choose the VT XBRL>Companies House>Generate New Submission command in  Excel as recommended, the abbreviated accounts are selected by default.

In any case, VT Filer displays whatever accounts are attached and so it is very easy to see what is being filed before you click the Submit button.

The submission file includes a copy of the accounts and when they were received by Companies House, and so you also have a permanent unalterable record of what was filed and when. You can re-open the submission file at any time by double clicking on it in a folder. The location of the submission file is also stored behind the scenes in the accounts workbook and hence you can also re-open it by choosing the VT XBRL>Companies House>Open Submission command in  Excel.

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

Thanks very much Phillip

Ketelios | | Permalink

Thanks very much Phillip

 

David

E-FILING

terry morris | | Permalink

Downloaded the upgrade to vt and submitted my first abbreviated accounts via the efiling system 14:24 pm.

Accepted by Companies House 14:57

Wonderfull..Well done again vt...no more posting and hoping they are delivered. Also helps with tight on time jobs.

'Internal failure' bug fixed

vtsoftware | | Permalink

If you downloaded before 1pm on Thursday 13/03/13 you will get an 'Internal failure' message from Companies House when you try to file accounts. The solution is to download again. In the Help>About VT Filer dialog it should show a build date of 13/03/13 or later. If it shows 12/03/13 you have the old version. Sorry about this if you downloaded early on.

Thanks for all your positive comments.

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

jasonholden's picture

Excellent

jasonholden | | Permalink

Excellent, I have been waiting for this, can't wait to try it.

Jason

Confused

nick | | Permalink

Is the Presenter ID a different thing from my normal login security code. I have been downloading the template from companies house and filing that way, so do I need to apply for new ID to do this. 

Re "Confused"

cmg | | Permalink

Nick - If by "normal login security code" you mean your email address, followed by the password and then the Authentication code, then the answer to your question is Yes. You need to follow the instructions in the heading article at the top of this thread.

Yes it works perfectly!

cmg | | Permalink

As promised, I tested the new system after my client signed the accounts yesterday, and the system worked perfectly (as expected, to be honest).

The required codes arrived this morning by post from Co's Hse, and were put to immediate use. The accounts were submitted at 11.59am and were accepted by Co's Hse 3 minutes later at 12.02pm.

The only hiccup was nothing whatsoever to do with VT. If you do what I did and attach a scan of the completed application form to an email - one of the recommended methods of application - you will, if you are like me, get a message back from Co's Hse saying that the email has been quarantined because of virus risk in the attachment. It just takes a quick one-liner to the same address as the original email to get it unblocked.

I'm already wondering how I survived without this new tool. Well done!

 

Tonykelly's picture

Dormant accounts

Tonykelly | | Permalink

I have filed a few abbreviated accounts with no problems.

Easy to use and works well.

However, I also want to use system to file dormant accounts also, but the only way I could do this was to file abbreviated accounts, as when I had the "dormant" option ticked in the properties section, they wouldn't file online.

Filing abbreviated accounts is not an ideal solution as Companies House shows "Total Exemption Small" and not "Dormant" next to the comapny name.

 

 

 

Dormant accounts

vtsoftware | | Permalink

Tonykelly wrote:

However, I also want to use system to file dormant accounts also, but the only way I could do this was to file abbreviated accounts, as when I had the "dormant" option ticked in the properties section, they wouldn't file online.

Filing abbreviated accounts is not an ideal solution as Companies House shows "Total Exemption Small" and not "Dormant" next to the comapny name.

You should be able to file dormant accounts if you use VT's dormant accounts template.

If you use the small companies template it is not sufficient just to tick the Dormant company option in the Workbook Properties (this in turn just sets the dormant tag in the iXBRL file). You also have to changing the wording in the first paragraph below the balance sheet to:

The directors are satisfied that the company is entitled to exemption from the requirement to obtain an audit under section 480 of the Companies Act 2006 relating to dormant companies.

You also have to retag the cell using the very last item at the foot of the balance sheet in the Set Tag (Easy) dialog (where it says for dormant companies). Companies House specifically check the wording and the tag when you e-file.

We will be working on making this automatic.

 

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

Case sensitive codes

113173.346 | | Permalink

Great work again Philip and the program looks great

We had an issue of codes not being accepted by Companies house. This is now resolved

If you have an existing account set up to use for web filing and as a credit account for annual return fees the codes are not case sensitive.

We have been using this account for a number of years with no problems but when we entered the details in E filer program they were rejected. The codes are case sensitive and authorisation code should be in upper case, or as supplied by Companies House at inception

 

timewaitsfornoman

happy's picture

Why not email your customers first before posting here?

happy | | Permalink

I'm a really big fan of VT but why didn't you email your customers to tell them rather than post here first?

I'm a paying user of VT and if I hadn't have seen this here I wouldn't have known. Feeling a bit miffed now.

Beta trial    1 thanks

vtsoftware | | Permalink

happy wrote:

I'm a really big fan of VT but why didn't you email your customers to tell them rather than post here first?

I'm a paying user of VT and if I hadn't have seen this here I wouldn't have known. Feeling a bit miffed now.

I used this forum to announce the beta trial. It was a good way of getting feedback. I did not want all VT's users to know about the new version at this stage. This is a bit unusual for us, but Companies House provide no way to test the software live. Launching a new version is always a nervous time. Obscure bugs do not come to light until people have used the software; but then it is embarrassing to have to tell your users that the software has bugs in it.

When the beta trial is complete in a few days time VT's main download page will be updated with the new edition (it still contains the Nov 2012 edition). At that point when you are prompted to check for updates by the software you will be advised about the new version. We only rarely now send emails to announce new versions.

I'm sorry if the title of this thread is misleading - it should have been more explicit that it was the beta version that was available.

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

Presumably because, as noted

cmg | | Permalink

I've removed this comment, because Philip has already replied!

happy's picture

Thank you Philip

happy | | Permalink

vtsoftware wrote:

happy wrote:

I'm a really big fan of VT but why didn't you email your customers to tell them rather than post here first?

I'm a paying user of VT and if I hadn't have seen this here I wouldn't have known. Feeling a bit miffed now.

I used this forum to announce the beta trial. It was a good way of getting feedback. I did not want all VT's users to know about the new version at this stage. This is a bit unusual for us, but Companies House provide no way to test the software live. Launching a new version is always a nervous time. Obscure bugs do not come to light until people have used the software; but then it is embarrassing to have to tell your users that the software has bugs in it.

When the beta trial is complete in a few days time VT's main download page will be updated with the new edition (it still contains the Nov 2012 edition). At that point when you are prompted to check for updates by the software you will be advised about the new version. We only rarely now send emails to announce new versions.

I'm sorry if the title of this thread is misleading - it should have been more explicit that it was the beta version that was available.

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

Thank you Philip.

Not entirely sure why you couldnt have just approached some existing users direct to test the new version, but I guess you got some free publicity doing it this way.

Still a big VT fan by the way.

 

Companies House Responses

113173.346 | | Permalink

Hi Philip

 

Tried the program with a couple of submissions and worked seamlessly after coding issues resolved with CH

Do you not get an e mail response from companies house when the accounts are submitted/accepted?

Does this mean that you have to go back into the file and then e filer to check if accepted?

Thanks - keep up great work

Timewaitsfornoman

 

thacca's picture

Works

thacca | | Permalink

I filed a set this afternoon. Worked well. Similar to the above we did not receive email confirmation.

Emails

vtsoftware | | Permalink

Yes, Companies House do not send confirmation emails.

When your submission file is open in VT Filer, VT Filer checks every 15 seconds for an accept/reject response from Companies House. You can close the submission file before the accounts are accepted and re-open it later if you like.

Companies House say that most accounts should be accepted within 10 minutes.

The submission file contains a copy of the accounts and details of when the accounts were received and accepted by Companies House, and hence acts as a permanent record of what has been filed.

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

good to see someone else replying to emails at this hour Philip

113173.346 | | Permalink

Well thats a bit of a pain to be honest

To get the procedure right in my mind: -

  • You would submit thru e filer
  • Leave program open for 10/15 minutes to await acceptance
  • A log is created in the directory the accounts are in
  • You can access this individual log at anytime to confirm acceptance

 

In conclusion you need to manually check that the accounts have been accepted

 

Is there no way CH acceptance can be emailed?

 

Does any error message create if they are rejected apart from the e filer response?

 

Timewaitsfornoman

 

Companies House systems

vtsoftware | | Permalink

There is no way you can get an email from Companies House.

Personally, I think the Companies House system works very well. I do not think there is any difference between VT Filer checking for a response (just leave it open minimised) and your email program checking for new emails. It has the advantage that a copy of the accounts, the date and time they were received by Companies House and whether they were subsequently accepted or rejected are all stored in the same file. That file can then be opened and displayed in VT Filer at any time. You do not have to hunt around for a separate email which may be hard to find some months later.

If the accounts are rejected, VT Filer displays the reject message received from Companies House. I tried filing a set of accounts that had already been filed on paper and the message did look like it had been written by human beings and not a computer programmer.

VT have made it as easy as possible too. There is no longer any need to generate a standalone iXBRL accounts file. Instead choose the VT XBRL>Companies House>Generate New Submission command. Behind the scenes this command:

  • Generates the iXBRL accounts
  • Attaches them to a VT Filer submission file
  • Saves the submission file
  • Stores the file name with the workbook
  • Opens the file in VT Filer (which in turn displays the accounts and their submission status)

​You can then re-open the submission file to display the accounts and their status at any subsequent time by choosing the VT XBRL>Companies House>Open Submission command. You do not need to know where the file is stored (the workbook remembers that) and hence there is no possibility of mix up.

For instance, you may open up an accounts workbook you created some months ago and ask yourself "Did I remember to file the accounts?". You just have to choose the Open Submission command and you have got the answer!

Philip Hodgson
VT Software
 

Beta trial now over

vtsoftware | | Permalink

We have now officially released the March 2013 edition.

There were some changes and we advise re-downloading from the usual page.

I would like to thank everyone for testing the software and for your comments.

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

Mrs Incredible's picture

Worked perfectly..

Mrs Incredible | | Permalink

Companies House issued the codes swiftly and that filing method saved me a nice little chunk of time.  Marvellous!

Great Time Saver

chatman | | Permalink

Just filed a set of accounts on-line with VT. I never timed myself doing it the old Companies House way, but it must have saved me at least half an hour, possibly an hour with logging in to CH, downloading the template etc.

Didn't even need the help function.

chatman | | Permalink

And I didn't even have to use the help function, it is all so clear.

efiling audited abbreviated accounts

hmyers | | Permalink

VT Final Accounts creates the appropriate files for audited abbreviated small company accounts including a VFI for submission using VTFiler. Although I have not tried to efile such accounts does the software warn the user that the accounts cannot be filed electronically or does it submit them and await for a rejection response from CH. Such accounts can be filed on paper, but apparently cannot be filed eletronically at present.

Abbreviated accounts of audited companies

vtsoftware | | Permalink

hmyers wrote:

VT Final Accounts creates the appropriate files for audited abbreviated small company accounts including a VFI for submission using VTFiler. Although I have not tried to efile such accounts does the software warn the user that the accounts cannot be filed electronically or does it submit them and await for a rejection response from CH. Such accounts can be filed on paper, but apparently cannot be filed eletronically at present.

See http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/anyanswers/question/how-does-new-vt-filer-handle-audited-abbreviated-accounts

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

VT Accounts Companies House e-filer

petercoo | | Permalink

I agree with everyone else that VT is fantastic.

However, one little quirk I've found in VT filer is that if in Workbook Properties the 'dormant' box is inadvertently checked, then CoHo will reject the accounts of a trading company.

The Universal Input Sheet in the new version of VT+ is amazing.  It's a great way to enter all the bank transactions from a CSV file.

The product gets better all the time.  Well done guys!

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