The Government have announced plans to revamp filing at Companies House for small companies & micro-entities in a move that will see additional information made available to the public when filing company accounts. The reforms are largely seen as an attempt to reduce the levels of economic crime committed through the country.
Currently, small companies & micro-entities are able to file accounts at Companies House without including the Profit & Loss report. The proposed changes would see this report now being included when company accounts are submitted to Companies House by small companies and therefore being available to the general public.
Additionally, small companies would also be required to file a directors report as part of the company accounts, this is currently optional for small companies. The report of the directors summarises the business activities of the company as well as confirms compliance with accounting standards.
Making additional information available to public is intended to improve the ability of businesses to make informed decisions when entering into transactions with other companies. Disclosing additional information is also intended to reduce the risk of fraudulent information being filed at Companies House.
The changes proposed also include simplifying the filing options for company accounts by removing the option to file abridged & filleted accounts, instead companies will be able to choose either micro-entity filing or small company filing. This choice would, we expect, be driven by the size of the filing company, determined by reference to turnover, gross assets and/or number of employees.
Despite what we had heard from earlier reports, there are currently no changes proposed to the filing deadline of nine months after the year end for private companies (six months for public companies). Though it should be noted that this could be reviewed in the near future.
It is also proposed that the ease with which individuals can create a company within the UK will be reduced with the proposals suggesting that photo ID verification checks should be carried out on all new and existing company directors & anyone filing on their behalf. All companies will need to have at least one verified person associated with them at Companies House. Penalties are proposed for directors that are not verified with Companies House and companies that has an unverified director associated with them will have committed an offence.
If you have any questions on the proposed changes please contact your local Whitings office for more information on how the changes may affect your company.