Companies House change in powers - long overdue ?

Heads Up. ICAEW report.

Didn't find your answer?

Just a Heads Up re proposed substantial (and arguably long overdue) changes in powers of Companies House. 

Forensic investigations (including into Financial Statements submitted) to be welcomed or feared ? 

https://www.icaew.com/insights/viewpoints-on-the-news/2021/mar-2021/an-e...

Replies (7)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

paddle steamer
By DJKL
16th Mar 2021 12:34

Welcomed but not convinced they will in any way be resourced to actually do very much, first I suspect they will be chasing down larger operations rather than ensuring that J Bloggs with his one man company submits accounts compliant with company law, and frankly even if accounts are compliant relying upon them actually reflecting the underlying economic activity is a big ask.

I review a lot of accounts for prospective tenants, in the main I first need full sets from the prospective tenant and second even when I get three years the first thing I look at is the name of the firm of accountants (if any) on same.

Being cynical this is likely under resourced virtue signaling.

Thanks (2)
John Toon
By John Toon
16th Mar 2021 12:53

Although this is to a degree old news (the various consultations have been well publicised and referenced here and elsewhere) I do welcome the reforms.

In particular my OCD tendencies are pleased that one of the resulting changes from these reforms will be that Joe Bloggs will not appear as J Bloggs, Joseph Bloggs or any number of other iterations that we probably all see with director/shareholder names at Companies House. It also enables a further clampdown on companies that flout the PSC regs - it's well documented that a significant number of companies still have a corporate PSC listed in jurisdictions that are not permitted.

As for the filing of garbage accounts at CoHo, which is equally entertaining and annoying, you will, if you feel suitably agrieved, be able to ask CoHo to remove the offending items and the company directors will be charged with sorting out their filings.

Thanks (0)
By Duggimon
16th Mar 2021 12:56

There is nothing in any of these consultations to suggest any additional work might in any way seek to actually apply the relevant accounting standards to the accounts filed, so I would anticipate the actual effect on the general quality of CH information to be somewhat minimal.

Thanks (2)
John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
16th Mar 2021 16:18

Thanks for bringing the consultations to our attention, Basil.

For the sake of completeness, can I also point readers to Steve Collings' article series on the topic:
https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/content/companies-house-reforms-2020-21

From a personal point of view, there's some sympathy for the need to tackle some of the problems AccountingWEB members have been flagging up for years. So while this consultation exercise is a step in the right direction, there's so much more that could be done.

There are some interesting comments on the anti-fraud measures and company director articles, along with a dash of cynicism from a couple of members.

Perhaps when the dust settles from the pandemic, the Registar and government could look again at the most obvious problems that have arisen and start a new round of reform to address them.

Thanks (0)
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
16th Mar 2021 16:22

Do they go far enough? Some countries insist all businesses are registered whether incorporated or not.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Arthur Putey:
avatar
By jeremybarker
17th Mar 2021 21:02

There used to be a Register of Business Names in the UK but it was abolished in 1982.

Thanks (0)
Melchett
By thestudyman
16th Mar 2021 19:05

It would only be useful if they have the resources (unlikely) to verify all directors on companies House including current directors, to try and eliminate all the duplicate director entries.

Which I cannot see happening.

Thanks (1)