What can be done when filed accounts defective?

Quite annoying really.

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Like many on here we regularly review accounts filed at Companies House for various reasons.

Just looked at a set, company in existence for years, and no comparative figures.

Looked at last year's, no comparatives.

Looked at year's before and those do have comparatives.

All three quote the same firm of (Chartered) accountants. All three apparently prepared using the same software.

I find it annoying that, having been the subject of regular (routine) regulatory compliance visits, some firms don't even make the effort to get the basics right.

Would others report the firm involved to their professional body? Take it up directly with them? See if Companies House would do anything? Do nothing and just accept? Even DIYers using CH software manage to include comparatives. 

Replies (11)

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By Wanderer
03rd May 2023 21:10

Just clicked through on a few other Companies with same RO. Most okay but found several more cases:-
2022 No comparatives.
2021 No comparatives.
2020 Comparatives.
Suspect there will be loads more if I decided to look.

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By Paul Crowley
03rd May 2023 21:22

Companies never interested
Cannot see the accounting bodies bothering either. They want AML penalties, not really interested in non compliant accounts.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Leywood
03rd May 2023 21:49

Agree, I’ve clicked on the tab about reporting an issue on several occasions, never ever seen anything sorted.

Wanderer, you could report to their prof body but suspect you would just be wasting your time. You could spend all day every day trying to rectify wrongs and getting nowhere other than very frustrated. Just be proud you do a good job, it’s much less stressful.

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Replying to Leywood:
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By Wanderer
04th May 2023 06:57

Leywood wrote:

Agree, I’ve clicked on the tab about reporting an issue on several occasions, never ever seen anything sorted.

Looked into that & just read the ICAEW guidance on revising defective accounts when discovered. Pointed me towards S454 CA2006. Revision is VOLUNTARY!
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/46/section/454

Staggering that when defective accounts are discovered the law doesn't require revision.

Doesn't change my original point, qualified accountants involved in the preparation & filing of defective accounts.

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By Truthsayer
04th May 2023 00:10

We (almost) all include comparatives in our accounts, but I am not aware of a legal requirement to do so. Therefore I would ask, who would you complain about to who and about what? If a firm does not bother including comparatives, is it breaking any rules?

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Replying to Truthsayer:
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By Wanderer
04th May 2023 06:02

Section 7 of Schedule 1 to the Small Companies Regulations

The Small Companies and Groups (Accounts and Directors' Report) Regulations 2008 wrote:

7.—(1) For every item shown in the balance sheet or profit and loss account the corresponding amount for the immediately preceding financial year must also be shown.

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By Catherine Newman
04th May 2023 08:56

I have had to do it myself recently. Accountants are just packing up and telling clients to go elsewhere or clients are now going elsewhere without telling their former accountant.

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By JD
04th May 2023 09:37

Having seen it elsewhere (and reported it), is it not possible that the firm concerned are filing rubbish to meet a filing deadline. The following year the comparative figures are not shown, as that would then reveal how far off the original filed version was.

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Replying to JD:
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By Wanderer
04th May 2023 10:03

Good point to raise. Just checked the original filings that bought this to my attention. Set with comparatives filed 5 months before the deadline. Next set (without) filed 4 months before the deadline, next set (without) filed 5 months before the deadline, so doesn't appear to be the case in this instance.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
04th May 2023 11:25

If you asked the average person what a practice review from ICAEW would consist of, they would probably assume this would be 90% checking my technical output as a members in practice in terms of reviewing some sample tax returns and company accounts etc for compliance and procedures, checking I was up to date. And perhaps 10% on some dull regulatory tick box stuff.

But nope it 0% checking my technical output, and 80% concentrated on the ability to jump through the flaming hoops of AML tick box compliance and about 20% other regulatory matters.

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By JB101
04th May 2023 11:28

About 2 years ago I complained to ACCA about a firm of Certified Accountants filing accounts under the FRSSE ( this disappeared years ago!).
I was contacted quickly and asked to provide evidence (despite the accounts being available o the Co House website) and probably spent 10 hours in total answering questions etc.
I never heard anything else and can see that the firm are still filing FRSSE accounts for the limited company.
I shall never waste my time again and take the Registrars point of view - it doesn't matter what the accounts look like as long as the name is correctly spelt.

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