BEIS publishes government response on proposals to improve financial information that is filed at Companies House

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03 Mar, 2022

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published its response to feedback on its proposals aimed at improving the quality of financial information which is filed at Companies House.

BEIS believes there are opportunities to improve the way financial information is filed with, and published by, Companies House. It is seeking to deliver benefits for those filing information, the users of that information, for Companies House and for the rest of government.

The original consultation in December 2020 sought proposals under three themes – how information is submitted to Companies House, what information should be filed at Companies House and what Companies House does with this information.  The headline outcomes from this consultation are as follows:

  • A requirement will be introduced for all accounts filings to be digital with full i-XBRL tagging. This means that each financial element within the accounts will need to be labelled appropriately. 
  • The role of Companies House will be enhanced and it will have the ability to query and reject information before it is placed on the register. Upfront validation of accounts will also be increased and some information will also be challenged post-registration.  These checks will, for example, be made to ensure that companies are eligible for the exemptions that they are taking. 
  • Dormant companies will be required to file an eligibility statement to confirm that they are actually dormant.
  • No changes will be made to the time allowed for filing of accounts as originally proposed. These remain at six months for public companies (plcs) and nine months for private companies.
  • The preparation and filing options available to small and micro companies are to be reduced to just two options - micro-entities and small companies. This will remove the “abridged” preparation option and the “filleted” filing option.  All small companies will therefore be required to file a profit and loss account.  Small companies will be required to file all the constituent parts of their accounts, so they will actually file what they prepare with no additional effort required to “fillet out” certain information.  This means that Companies House will receive a balance sheet and profit and loss account for all small companies including micro-entities. Small companies will also file a director’s report unless they meet the micro-entity thresholds, when they will still have the option to not prepare or file a director’s report.
  • The government will explore options to enable companies to file their financial information once a year across government departments instead of filing different elements of information with each department that requires it at various times.

The government response to the consultation also includes responses to two other consultations on Corporate transparency and register reform – powers of the registrar and implementing the ban on corporate directors.

A press release including the full outcomes from the consultations are available on the BEIS website.

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