Never miss a client filing deadline

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James Power, a director at FD4Cast, reveals a Companies House bulk query tool to help accountants never miss a client filing deadline.

How useful are the email reminders from HMRC and Companies House about filing VAT returns, annual accounts and confirmation statements?

Previous articles and reader comments on this subject have alluded to the fact that it seems pointless for HMRC to send emails more than a week prior the end of the period to which they relate, before it is even possible to prepare the return.

The result is that the emails usually get ignored and/or lost in the email ‘to-do’ folder, as the client won’t be in a position to actually supply the required information until a later date, even if they wanted to do so.

Better surely to have a user-friendly dashboard where you can see upcoming commitments for your whole client list in one place and refresh this data instantly with a single click so that all the required VAT, accounts, tax and confirmation statement filing commitments by date are displayed?

In response to AccountingWEB reader requests FD4Cast has created a free Companies House bulk query tool.

Accountants can track filing requirements for all their clients by date last filed and also set tolerance levels for reminders for when filings are next due.

By having all clients listed in a single sheet with the ability to update the status with a single button-click you can see at a glance all upcoming commitments, meaning you never have to miss a filing again and plan your workload and client communication accordingly.

The tool is non-promotional, free to use and available to download here.

Excel 2007 or a later version is required. The tool will only work on a Windows platform as macros are required to operate the tool.

Readers may want to consider using another free tool designed with accountants in mind that automates the production of dividend vouchers and board meeting minutes.

About James Power

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23rd May 2017 19:47

This sounds like a nice tool for accountants not ready to move from Excel.

If there are any accountants looking for a more robust system, with automatic record requesting, SMS deadline reminders and self generating task list. Please take a look at AccountancyManager Practice Management.

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to jamesbyrne
23rd May 2017 23:19

jamesbyrne wrote:

This sounds like a nice tool for accountants not ready to move from Excel.

If there are any accountants looking for a more robust system, with automatic record requesting, SMS deadline reminders and self generating task list. Please take a look at AccountancyManager Practice Management.

That comes across as slightly bad form to me.

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to Sheepy306
23rd May 2017 23:30

Didn't mean it to come across that way. FD4Cast are providing something of value for free.

As the idea behind the post is 'Never miss a client filing deadline', just wanted to let people know about AccountancyManager, which is a non-free but more comprehensive solution to this problem.

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24th May 2017 11:00

This was meant as a non-promotional freebie for AccountingWeb readers, not as a platform for other vendors to pitch competing solutions for which they intend to charge.

Unless it's free and not meant as a marketing exercise (please note that my download link does not request email or personal details), this isn't really the correct space for you to be pitching in.

And by the way it's not targeted at accountants still 'stuck on Excel'. It's for everyone, irrespective of their existing solution.

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By NJH
to FD4Cast
24th May 2017 16:29

Just having a look at it and it doesn't seem that the corporation tax columns are being handled correctly.

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24th May 2017 18:24

This looks great. Thank you, FD4Cast. However, I must be doing something wrong as, when I enter a company number in cell B4, it disappears when I hit enter. If I then click the button in cells A1/A, it says "Ltd co or LLP company number inputs required in column B". Could the file be corrupted?

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By spcm
24th May 2017 19:10

I had the same problem, till I saved the spreadsheet and instead of pasting the company number into the cell, pasted it into the top formula bar. Then it all worked when I pressed the update button! This is excellent!!

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24th May 2017 20:04

All,

I have now uploaded a new version to handle the issue that readers charliecarne and spcm experienced and have changed the naming of the corporation tax columns in order to address the comment by NJH.

Just download from the same link.

Please let me know if anything else not working as expected.

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By NJH
to FD4Cast
25th May 2017 09:15

Hi James

Thanks for responding, but I still think those columns aren't behaving correctly.

I think the first should say "current" rather than "prior" and the calculation should be altered as it's currently displaying the payment deadline 11 months later than it should be.

The second column calculation is 12 months later than it should be.

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to NJH
25th May 2017 13:41

Hi NJH,

I've uploaded a newer version. Download from the same link as before.

Please can you let me know if it does not work as expected?

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By c.szpak
12th Jun 2017 11:59

I am a bit late to this (what's new Charlie will say) but this is an ideal tool for my small practice. I had built my own version but this is far better.

However I do have one issue, when I input a company with "Accounts Last Filed" date of 31/12/2015 the "Current Year Corporation Tax Payment Due" becomes 10/01/2017 (and goes red) whereas shouldn't it be 01/10/2017? Or am I missing something?

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to c.szpak
12th Jun 2017 13:30

Struggling to recreate this issue. Can you PM me with the company number you are inputting and I will see if I get the same result as you?

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to c.szpak
12th Jun 2017 17:48

Hi Chris,

All sorted for you now. Just download a fresh version from the original link.

Please let me know if you get any further issues.

Rgds,

James

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03rd Oct 2017 13:27

James

Great little tool. One question that doesn't appear to have arisen (am I the only one suffering from it?): I pasted in a column of CH numbers to column B, and the macro pulled data in as expected. However, when I tried to follow your tip for clearing an unwanted client row ("blank out the CH number") I find that the values in column B are protected and cannot be deleted or overwritten. Even if I save the downloaded file to a new filename, the same protection applies to column B. Am I missing something?

Alan

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to alanb3006
03rd Oct 2017 14:20

Fixed for you now alanb3006.

Please just download again from the same link and you won't get any protection issues. Shout if you need further help.

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to FD4Cast
29th May 2018 11:24

James, I need further help so I am shouting :)

We are using this tool on a regular basis. We have noticed, however, that once or twice, a valid CH number shows up in the final spreadsheet in column A as "Invalid number", and the entire row is blank. Is this something you can intercept and re-submit?

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to alanb3006
29th May 2018 13:26

Hi alanb3006,

They changed a few things on the CH website which I have had to rework in the code.

So I've now uploaded a newer version. Download from the same link as before.

Please can you let me know if it does not work as expected?

Or send me the version of the tool where you get issues and I will troubleshoot:- [email protected]

Rgds,

James

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to FD4Cast
30th May 2018 13:32

James, your last message is dated May but the link points to a file last updated in February. Am I using the wrong link?

Also, the "enter actual date to override conditional formatting" doesn't seem to work at all in Column M (C Tax payment). The colouring of column H is unaffected regardless of the date I enter.

Alan

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to alanb3006
31st May 2018 22:21

Can you try to download from this link:-

http://fd4cast.co.uk/free-tools/#house-display

If you still get problems please send me your version of the tool with a couple of entries which are problematic and I will troubleshoot.

[email protected]

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