Mario Christodoulou, Accountancy Age, Thursday 2 September 2010 at 13:14:00

Companies House warns accountants and businesses to file correct accounts

One in ten accounts filed to Companies House has been rejected due to basicformatting errors.

The body, which holds records for all businesses across the United Kingdom,has issued plea to businesses to have their accounts in order or risk heftypenalties.

Almost 91,000 accounts were rejected between January and June, of thesealmost a third due to filing incorrect statutory statements. Accounts forperiods before 6 April 2008 require different statements included. CompaniesHouse rejected 33,349 accounts on this basis.

Other errors included conflicting duplicate accounts or missing signaturesfrom balance sheets.

If accounts are rejected close to the filing deadline, Companies House issuesan automatic late filing penalty of between 150 and 1500 for privatecompanies.

Kathryn Cearns, a member of the ICAEW?s Financial Reporting Committee, saidnew legislation may have caused some of the errors.

"As we all know, it only takes one technical breach along these lines for acompany to incur a fine and put the directors in breach of their duties forfiling accounts."

?Undoubtedly, some of this has been caused by the new Companies Act coming into force, but Companies House has also changed its own rules in some areas, suchas names/signatures of directors and where they need to appear,? she said.