With 300,000 sets of accounts being due this month, September is one of the busiest months for us at Companies House. Many companies will have an accounting reference period which ends on the last day of the year. This means the last day to file their accounts is 30 September.
Every company must prepare accounts that report on the performance and activities of the company during the financial year, even if you’re dormant.
Here are a few tips to help you file your accounts on time during this busy period:
1. Plan early
Start planning early for filing your accounts and make yourself aware of your company filing deadline dates.
If you’re a small company, you cannot file abbreviated accounts any more. Find out your accounts filing options for small companies.
2. File online
Most companies can file their accounts electronically – it’s faster and easier. We’ve significantly improved our digital services, so it has never been easier to file your accounts online and on time
3. Email reminders
You can sign up to receive email reminders. These can be sent to up to 4 e-mail addresses.
4. Avoid rejection
Our online service has inbuilt checks to make sure all the relevant information is provided before you can submit. It also provides an automatic email to confirm that we’ve received your accounts. We’ll send you another email once they’ve been accepted for filing.
5. Paper accounts
If you have to file paper accounts, you could use a guaranteed next day delivery service.
Accounts filed on paper need to be manually checked. We can only check them during office opening hours, and they can take over a week to process.
Remember, it’s the date that you deliver acceptable accounts to Companies House (which meet all the relevant legal requirements), not the date that you sent the accounts. If your filing deadline falls on a Sunday or Bank Holiday, you’re still required by law to file accounts by that date.
Failure to deliver accounts on time is a criminal offence. In addition, the law imposes a civil penalty for late filing of accounts on the company. The amount of the penalty depends on how late the accounts arrive and whether the company is private or public.
To use our online filing service, you’ll need your authentication code. If you’ve lost or cannot remember your code, you can request a new one. We can only send it by post to the company’s registered office, so allow up to 5 days for it to arrive.
Of course, if you’re employing an accountant, all these tasks will be done for you. But it might be worth checking that all is in hand. Ultimately, it’s the director’s responsibility to make sure the company’s accounts are filed on time.
If you’re not sure when your accounts are due, you can check your accounting reference period and filing date on our Companies House Service .