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Companies House PROOF protection

Companies House PROOF protection

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It looks like this has been available for many months but only just hit my radar. 

Once you sign up Companies House will reject any paper forms looking to change essential company and director details.  Nice to see something positive on Companies House.

Have many been signing up their clients?

Replies (17)

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By petersaxton
16th May 2013 09:43

It's been there for several years

I don't like the idea. You can have problems with some clients if they need to do something online and they can't and you are not set up to do it for them. I would prefer to monitor any changes.

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By zarathustra
16th May 2013 10:20

Agree with Peter 

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By 1 2
16th May 2013 10:28

I imagine it's fine as long as:

1) you/the client knows the authentication code, and
2) you/the client has access to the registered office address in case it's forgotten.

May sound straight forward, but we've had the below situation a couple of times:

- client comes to us from another accountant.
- previous accountant's address is their registered office.
- client is registered for PROOF.
- client doesn't know authentication code.
- request it from Cos Hse, they send by post.
- previous accountant doesn't forward and ignores communication.
- can't change registered address without it as proof means paper registered office address form ignored.

It's a pain.  The client then has to go through Companies House's fraud team and jump through a load of hoops.

Therefore it's fine in the majority of situations, but not ideal for some...

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Replying to Davesere:
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By GW
16th May 2013 10:53

Ask for Co Hse authentication code

We ask for the code from the previous accountant with the handover information.

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
16th May 2013 11:26

Thanks all

@Maslins - we use Iris to handle the webfiling for all our clients and so, I presume, just sending the standard "Presenters" authorisation letter signed by the director, would avoid all the hassle or do you know if these are rejected as well?

Ironically as we use Iris for all of them, we can't (yet?) apply for PROOF unless we ascertain their individual web-filing logins.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By 1 2
16th May 2013 14:24

Dunno!

Paul Scholes wrote:

@Maslins - we use Iris to handle the webfiling for all our clients and so, I presume, just sending the standard "Presenters" authorisation letter signed by the director, would avoid all the hassle or do you know if these are rejected as well?

No idea I'm afraid. When we need to do Cos Hse stuff online for clients we just use our own email address/password here and the client's authentication code, didn't know there was another way.

I'd recommend you make sure you've got the authentication code on file before registering for PROOF, even if you don't currently need it with the way you file stuff with Companies House.  It's easy to get provided someone helpful gets the mail at the registered office address.  Like I say, you need a few things to go wrong before it becomes a real problem (nobody knows code AND whoever gets post at reg off add is being an [***]), but better to be safe than sorry.

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By Flash Gordon
16th May 2013 11:27

I sign mine up (just in case) but then at that point I have the authorisation code to give me the access. The number of clients who don't seem to have their code when you take them on though... 

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By Robert K
16th May 2013 11:43

A good idea for the company but not necessarily the accountant. Any of our clients who have signed up will have done it themselves and we have very litte to do with the filing of the forms. One client blamed us when they tried to file a paper form which was rejected. Obviously an ex-director/staff member had signed up. This was the initial reason we didn't sign any up.

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Big Daddy's Diner
By mookgirluk
16th May 2013 14:22

You don't need their web-filing login, just one of your own

As long as you have your own webfiling login, the company number and authentication code you can sign a company up for PROOF. 

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
16th May 2013 15:00

More interesting than I thought

When you use Iris for everything statutory you have a Presenter's ID & email address registered in the software and we tend to set all our Ltd Companies to the same authentication code.

Consequently, we've never had to sign in to webfiling @ Companies House and when I try, it doesn't recognise my or the firm's registered email addresses.

So I'll wait for dear old Iris to organise it via the software I think. 

Thanks again, thought this was going to be a boring thread.

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By Democratus
16th May 2013 16:27

At a company or rather several groups level

I advise internally to avoid PROOF. I know it's a security thing but with staff turnover and time pressures it's often quicker to print out a paper form sign it and get it hand delivered than waiting for the person with "the knowledge" to come back from holidays or whatever. We do file as many electronically as we can but it's a belts and braces thing with me.

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By Chris Smail
17th May 2013 00:03

Thats a big problem for Iris

I fail to understand this attitude, do you also use calculators and quill pens?

We have a central secure register of Client Authentication codes and personal Co Hse logins.

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Replying to 64463Sa:
By petersaxton
17th May 2013 03:32

I don't see the pont

Chris Smail wrote:

I fail to understand this attitude, do you also use calculators and quill pens?

We have a central secure register of Client Authentication codes and personal Co Hse logins.

What's calculators and quill pens got to do with this?

I have the client authentication codes in Digita Company Secretarial and in a Word document in my client files on my computer and paper.

I have Companies House monitoring set up so I am alerted to any filings.

When I take on a new client I regularly have problems with getting authentication codes and sometimes I have to resort to using paper to get the registered office changed. 

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By Chris Smail
17th May 2013 09:16

Not had to do that for a long time..

Maybe you are taking on more then us

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By petersaxton
17th May 2013 09:24

Not so many

It's just that it is a lot of hassle when it happens. Especially as usually the client changed accountants because they weren't helpful!

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
17th May 2013 11:54

Not a problem

Chris - I probably didn't make it clear enough, Iris (and probably Digita) Company Secretarial is a godsend and one of the biggest benes of having this sort of software, every time we change a director, address, year end etc etc, the Companies House form is automatically created and we press a button to submit.

Similarly, we can form companies through it and if I get a new Ltd Company client Iris pulls down all the company and officer details from Companies House and sets them up on the database for us.

The ony downside with Proof is that, if I want to do it for a client, I'll have to look back to see if we have their own webfiling login in, or ask them for it.  I've made Iris aware that this is something that would be great as an add-on and, given how closely they've worked with the IT guys @ Companies House, I'm sure it will come.

 

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By Robert Clubb
17th May 2013 13:23

Always...............

We do it for all clients. We keep a reminder system ourselves, and contact clients in advance for things like the Annual Return.

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