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Companies House arrogance - part 2!

Companies House arrogance - part 2!

So, as per my previous message in which I told you how I had two sets of accounts due to be field on 31/12/10, which I posted separately around 12/12/2010 and which were not showing as received on their website just before Christmas.

Their website clearly stated that the bad weather conditions were not an excuse for late filing and we had better make other arrangements if they were due by 31/12/10.

Being a cautious type, I filed both sets electronically on 29/12/10.  This is a time consuming procedure at present and something I could have done without.

TODAY, I received a letter from CH rejecting one of the paper sets of accounts - I knew this would happen, so not unexpected, but I am surprised at the speed of the response.  According to their letter, they received these paper accounts on 22/12/10.  So why were they not showing on their website on 29/12??  I do appreciate that Christmas was in the middle, but that is still 4 working days before I filed electronically.

So when I phoned them on 29/12/10 to ask what was happening with the post, the arrogant twit who told me "you should ask Royal Mail that question, we have no control over the post" was talking a load of rubbish.  They had a backlog of post in their post room.

Anyway, they have made themselves extra work as they will have to reject the other paper set I submitted to.

A little cooperation from them could have saved everyone some time.


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01st Jan 2011 09:41

'i knew this would happen'

you didnt really did you , or you would have sent the correct version - what was wrong with them - they seem to reject accounts quite often now ; it is possible that the 2 sets of accounts were examined by different examiners and it is therefore possible if not probable  that one set will be accepted and one rejected!

if you are still late i am sure that in these cicrumstances the adjudicator will find in your favour - ignore the nonsense from the telephone contact. incidentally this is one of the benefits of interenet submission - the turn around is much much quicker - did you apply for an authentication code as suggested

I note that some software accounting packages can submit the accounts direct to CH from the software but that takes a couple of days - in those circumstances is an authentication code required or like SA is it the submitter that has the reference. If it is not the later then its time it was


BTW i do empathise with you i am trying to appeal a big fine thro the courts and the  CH solicitors , well the less said about them the better - suffice to say that they failed to check various matters with the court , totally ignored what i said and then when the court gave me relief from sanctions THEY asked for costs. CH should think about replacing them  

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01st Jan 2011 10:42

I knew this would happen

I knew they would reject the paper accounts having accepted the electronic copy.  What I didn't know is when they would "receive" the paper copy and I was not prepared to leave it to the last minute.  So they make extra work for everyone, themselves included, as they have to reject the paper copies.

The member of staff on the "help" line was just unbelieveably arrogant.

I am looking forward to being able to file accounts from my software with bated breath.  Yes, I will need everyone's authentication code, but I have most of these already.  Why Companies House have taken so long to go ths route is beyond me.

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01st Jan 2011 10:52


its the back button on their software that really gets me - use it and you are jumped out - bizare presumably yuo used the somewhat slow pdf @ CH to file - once you get the hang of the thing it is actually quite quick and you get a fast reply - so at least thats a plus

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01st Jan 2011 12:07


I used to hate the CH accounts pdf but when clients seemed incapable of either posting signed accounts to me or to CH I thought I should use it more. Now I do every set of accounts possible that way.

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01st Jan 2011 13:34

Peter , i agree with you!

what i am trying to find out is if the software accounts packages that submit direct to CH need the authorisation code to do so or whether the 'agent' has a special code to file without the authentication code - how does the 'joint' filing (for which i do not see much use as its abb acs for Ch and full for HMRC) work do yu just need agent access to HMRC site

happy new year

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01st Jan 2011 13:43

Each company

I think you need the authentication code for each company.

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01st Jan 2011 15:01

Iris needs the code for each company, when submitted it shows as red on the ch website pending it being uploaded. My assumption is that once it shows as red it can't then be rejected as it has passed the approval process.

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04th Jan 2011 19:38

Its a familiar story

Tax Hound, I sent some in on 16/12 by recorded delivery. On 29/12 I phoned Co house and asked where they were. They told me that they were at that stage opening post from 20/12. I looked on Royal Mail and found my package still in transit. Having wasted over two weeks using Co House webfiling in the previous year I was not so stupid as to try that again. So, I sent Co House an email advising of the message on Royal Mail and requested an extension. I submitted another set of accounts on paper on 29/12 with a guaranteed next day delivery.

I note that my accounts seem to have been accepted on 30/12, not sure which copy and a complete waste of everyone's time, because I sent in two copies they will have to go to the trouble of rejecting one copy.


Will you share your experiences with me, as I am about to go to Judical Review over a late penalty? Much appreciated.

Anyone else having problems e-fling or with the dreaded abbreviated accounts template? Please do contact me.

I have been compiling a log of e-filing problems with Co House, see here:

Finally, did you know that there is an Extension Team at Companies House? So despite the fact that a penalty is not apparently mitigatable you can save yourself the penalty in the first place by requesting an extension. I think that is probably what we should have all automatically been given once the snow hit.

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05th Jan 2011 09:31

No problems with efiling

Just to put things in perspective we have filed some, but not all, abbreviated accounts using CoHse pdf template ever since it was introduced and only ever had one problem which was easily resolved by telephone.

Are you doing anything particularly complicated?

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By Monsoon
05th Jan 2011 10:21

No pdf probs either

I have to say I've had no problems with Co House's PDF for abbreviated accounts. I've never used anything else (in terms of abbrv filing) and I think it's really quick and easy.

The only hiccup I ever had was one set rejected - I'd put a custom note in there, and after a phone call, the woman I spoke to agreed the note was correct and the accounts were accepted.

Nichola - thanks for the mention of the Extension Team - that's a useful thing to know!

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05th Jan 2011 11:02


Monsoon; just to note that just because there is an Extension Team does not mean that they are going to grant an extension! There seems to be little by way of guidance on this.

Interestingly I have also heard that scanned signed accounts have been accepted by email when the abbreiviated template did not work.

I used the abbreivviated template the first year it came out and apart from going in circles over the validation failures it worked reasonably well (I could though have typed the same set in less time). Thereafter it went wrong and cost me a fortune in time and penalties. I refuse to use it now. In any case I prepare accounts on another package in advance of being iXBRL compliant for HMRC so it is waste of time to input them twice.

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05th Jan 2011 13:19

Just to add to the story .....

... we sent several sets due for filing by 31st October on 28th October (Thursday) guaranteed delivery. They didn't get delivered until the following Monday - so were late. It was only then that we discovered that there is no built in compensation for guaranteed delivery - you have to pay extra if you want to be compensated if the Post Office fail to deliver as promised.

So we appealed the penalties on the basis that we did all we could with a reasonable expectation of delivery on time. Somewhat to our surprise Companies House removed the penalties - so they are not wholly unreasonable!

On 29th December (at which point we had a dozen or so sets of 31st March accounts ready to file) the Post Office web site said that guaranteed delivery was not guaranteed next day - so we couldn't even pay the extra as "insurance" against penalties. So we had to stomach the cost of a courier. So, to me, it is the Post Office who are the villains, not Companies House.


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06th Jan 2011 10:46

Re the courier

Dont forget that from many places a same day courier delivery to London is cheaper than to Cardiff.  Delivery can be made to

PO BOX 29019
21 Bloomsbury Street
United Kingdom

Same cardiff phone number thou

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06th Jan 2011 11:07

Oh Dear, here we go again

Over the years I've had good and bad experiences with the pdf format, which seems to depend on which version of acrobat you have.

Last year was fine, this year I'm waiting with bated breath as the form wouldn't allow me to give suitable FA categories in the accounting policy note, but accepted submission anyway, so we shall see.

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06th Jan 2011 12:54

Foolish accountants

Before I had my own accounting firm I would get a local accountant in London to do a set of flat management accounts.

One day on deadline day I asked the accountant to get the accounts to Companies House that day. He said: "I'm not going all the way to Cardiff with them!".

Maybe he was my inspiration to do a better job.

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06th Jan 2011 13:11

Get Accounts done early

I try to avoid the problem by getting the accounts done in plenty of time.

I post the to Companies house then check in about a weeks time that they have been accepted.

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06th Jan 2011 13:44

So do I

In this particular case I'd moved into a new flat and didn't even know about the setup and then when the Companies House letters came everybody had to piece the information together from incomplete records.

I try to do the accounts early but a lot of clients are not very good at providing data. Don't you have that problem?

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06th Jan 2011 13:52

Get Accounts done early

I try to avoid the problem by getting the accounts done in plenty of time.

By God, that man's a genius. The profession has been waiting 200 years for such a visionary to come along and revolutionise the ways we do things.

If only I had thought of that and hadn't wasted my life chsing clients.




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07th Jan 2011 12:28

PDF - Not impessed - Now file via acounts package


Personally never enjoyed using the PDF provided. It's great if you use the mouse to move to each box but I don't unless it's a big jump preferring to tab my way thru for what shd be quicker data entry but not in this PDF as the logic is skewed and intervention by mouse is essential.

For the last 4+ mths I've been filing on-line using Absolute Accounting's software, much easier.



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07th Jan 2011 13:19

Avoiding problems


I agree about not liking the pdf but for small accounts it doesn't take too long and once it's submitted the hassle is ended - not like sending a pdf to a client and getting them to submit by post or sending back to me for submitting by post.

One of my clients took 3/4 months to submit himself. He kept saying he'd sent it but it didn't appear on WebCheck. He'd put a first class stamp on an A4 envelope so Companies House didn't accept the envelope. Royal Mail tried to return the envelope but had to put a card through the door which he failed to act upon. Eventually the envelope was opened and they saw my address so sent it to me at which point I realised what had been going on.

I know all clients are not like him - he's making his fifth attempt to turn up for an appointment on Saturday after failing to do so at any of the previous four - but anything that avoids a potential problem that is not easy to solve is worth doing.

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10th Jan 2011 12:53

Chaos at Companies House

I sent 2 sets of 31 March 2010 abbreviated accounts in one envelope by first class post to Companies House on Wednesday, 22 December.

Alerted by this thread in particular, I looked on WebCheck on the afternoon of Friday, 31 December, and found that the accounts for one company were shown as having been received, but the ones for the other company were not showing.  Although puzzled how two sets of accounts in the one envelope could have been treated differently, I filed abbreviated accounts online for the latter company.

Today, I received the expected letter from Companies House returning the paper accounts for the company I had filed online.  The bar code on the accounts says Wednesday, 29/12/2010 - presumably, the date of receipt - which was the third working day after posting first class, so quite plausible.  However, the letter says that "The attached accounts were received at Companies House on 31/12/2010."

So, was it 29 or 31 December?  I have to think it was 29 December, but either way, why were they not showing on WebCheck on the afternoon of 31 December as having been received?

If anyone gets hit with a late filing penalty on accounts posted first class before Christmas, appeal.  Companies House admin is in a complete mess.

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10th Jan 2011 15:19

their procedures need revisiting


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15th Jan 2011 18:52

Accounts accepted

Further to my post above, it would seem that this year's accounts have been accepted by the system, even though the categories of fixed assets in the accounting policy note on depreciation did not display properly.

I suppose it is possible that the information went through OK and that it was purely a display problem. Alternatively it may mean you could make up any type of fixed asset you like, and no one would ever notice - Nurdlegungers perhaps, depreciated at 10% reducing balance.

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