Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Companies House is a steam engine in an high tech age.



What information filed at Companies House can you believe? All or none - it is a total lottery.

We went a CH seminar for new businesses last week. It was jolly enough event. However, when we asked about several areas of concern in relation to the veracity of the information they hold, they very quickly moved on - brushing the issues off as not up to them. Strictly speaking they are right, but a change needs to come soon if we are not to have some very serious disasters.

Take for example the company we looked up today, which had funded on Crowdcube in 2015. Their accounts just filed show share capital of £1 - ie none. Yet the Crowdcube platform and the company's AR show the shareholders. This is just one instance we have found over the last few years. The accounts are simply wrong. There are plenty more.

The CH representative told me that they have a clean out every so often which picks up any errors, he was unable to tell me how often. Equity Crowdfunding relies heavily on the veracity of the information filed at CH. 

Another issue we raised was the way that company directors are registered. You can have numerous registrations for the same person - with no overlap in the records - simply by using your names in different sequences. You may remember a classic case with Solar Cloth Co - he had 6 different CH registrations - none of them showed the directorships of the other 5. It would be very easy to fix - one unique number issued the first time you register and it becoming an offence to re register. Solved. 

Lets face it both CH and HMRC are struggling in the modern world. Short of resources and possibly know how, they need to get with the plan or we will be in one hell of a mess. 

3 comments:

  1. You're performing a great service by raising awareness and asking for accountability. Thanks!

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  2. I remember an accounting update course where the lecturer said that one day he would file a shopping receipt and expect that Companies House would accept it as long as the correct statement was appended to the bottom of the page and signed

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  3. My experience of filing at Companies House is much the same as Andrew Walker.Useless lot.before electronic filing I found a company with no director filing a set of accounts filed by someone .When I pointed this out,I was informed it was "bona fide" & the idiot refused to explain what he meant

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