Companies House is taking a digital-first approach. With plans to transform all its systems and services, Companies House's Meryl Jones explains to AccountingWEB how the organisation will achieve its digital vision.
There's such a lot going on in Companies House, with many exciting projects and initiatives underway. One thing we are particularly excited about is our newly-launched transformation programme.
As the UK’s registry of limited companies, we're responsible for incorporating and dissolving limited companies, registering company information and making that information available to the public. The fundamentals of what we do are not going to change, but how we do it will change as part of this programme.
To become a truly digital organisation, our aim is transform all our systems and services to be digital first, easy to use and developed entirely around our users’ needs. We also want to ensure our own people have rich and rewarding jobs.
Transformation can mean different things to different organisations. But, for us, it can be summarised using our vision of ‘brilliant people, brilliant systems and brilliant services’. So, what does this really mean and what do we want to achieve?
We won't be successful if we don't have brilliant people. This isn't to say that we don't already have brilliant people, because we do. Many of our staff will spend their entire career with us, meaning we have a strong sense of community and commitment. Working together to provide an excellent service for our customers is something we already do well, but there's always room for growth and improvement.
Our aim is to create an environment where all employees feel inspired to better themselves. We'll make a commitment to personal development and career progression; as well as supporting a culture that encourages people to be inquisitive, challenging and not to accept second best. We'll also be making sure our internal systems are fit for purpose, so that our staff can do their jobs efficiently and effectively.
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We've already made some great digital advances in terms of our systems - the Companies House Service, which provides company data for free, is a shining example - but we'll now be looking at all our processes, to make sure they meet the needs of today's customer and the digital environment we operate in. We'll not continue to do things just because it's the way we've always done them.
As we develop our digital services, we'll challenge the way we work and look to streamline our processes, to make them as efficient as they can be. We'll be starting with a clean sheet and designing our processes as if we were designing a whole new Companies House.
Providing customers with seamless digital services is central to this transformation programme. With 99.99% availability, our digital services are already well-regarded by our customers, but we recognise the need to improve the consistency across our search and filing services.
At present, we've got numerous platforms supporting a wide variety of services - but the quality of these services varies. Some are now looking quite outdated, and the log-ins needed for the different services can cause confusion. In addition, there are several areas where we've been unable to provide a fully-digital service, meaning customers are required to file on paper. A form filed on paper is more likely to contain errors or omissions, and is more likely to be rejected causing inefficiencies for customers and does not provide the full data availability our search customers need.
These issues will all be addressed as part of our transformation programme. And, if we achieve everything we set out to, we'll provide brilliant services for our customers. Many of the services will be the ones we provide now, but perhaps delivered in a different way. We'll also be developing and offering a number of new services.
The important thing for us is that we develop such brilliant digital services, our customers won’t want to file on paper, and that we develop and maintain a great reputation for all our services, our processes and our people. If we achieve this, we'll fulfil our vision of ‘brilliant people, using brilliant systems to deliver brilliant services’.
Companies House transformation is not going to be easy or simple, and the process will be filled with challenges. But we’re up for it!
Now we told you all about us, we want to hear from you. Go to our website and complete our Customer and Stakeholder Opinion Survey.
We’d like you to tell us what you think about our products and services - what’s good, what’s not so good and what needs improving. The feedback you give will help us improve our products and services. It will also help us make better-informed decisions about how best to communicate with our customers and stakeholders.
As part of our transformation programme, we’re aiming to make all of our systems and services digital first, easy to use and developed entirely around our users’ needs. To do this, we need your input.
It’s your chance to tell us what you need and help shape the future development of Companies House services. This insight will help us to plan and prioritise our activities over the next few years. You will then be able to enter a free prize draw and have a chance of winning an iPad Pro just for completing the survey.
Click here for more information on the Customer and Stakeholder Opinion survey and a chance to enter a free draw to win an iPad Pro. The closing date for the free draw is 7 August 2018.
About Meryl Jones
I am the owner of the overall business change, acting as the champion for the programme.
I provide leadership and direction to the programme executive and ensure effective communication with key project stakeholders within and outside of the programme.
I need to be aware of the broader business and project related interdependencies and ensure effective management of these interfaces. I make sure benefits are owned, delivered and measured during and after the programme.
I also ensure appropriate governance is in place, in line with departmental guidance and that the programme maintains its business focus.