Companies urged to file accounts early and online to avoid delays

ACCA and Companies House share important information for directors

IP image

Working in collaboration with Companies House, ACCA is sharing with our members in practice this important information and guidance from Companies House for businesses.

September is always a busy time with many companies due to file accounts with Companies House before the end of the month.

Companies House is the formal register of all companies in the UK and make accounts information, as well as other company information contained on the register, available to a wide range of users.

The register is inspected thousands of times a day by people wanting to do business with these companies – investors, researchers, credit reference agencies, other companies and government departments, as well as the general public.

Research has shown that our financial information is the most valuable data set that we hold. It supports investment, informs decision making, enables business transactions and helps to hold directors to account. One of our strategic goals is to inspire trust and confidence in our registers and data, and the accuracy of information on the register is vital.

File online

It’s the director's responsibility to file a company’s accounts. They could get a criminal record, a fine and disqualification if accounts are not delivered on time. To make sure the information we hold on the register is accurate and up to date, use our online services where possible and allow plenty of time before the filing deadline.

Free email reminders are available to know when company accounts are due, and you can also check filing deadlines on Companies House service.

Online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and there are inbuilt checks to help avoid mistakes. 

It can take as little as 15 minutes from start to finish and you’ll know the accounts have been delivered on time. We'll send an email to confirm we've received them, and another email when we’ve registered them.

To file online, you’ll need the company authentication code. If you need to request a new code, you should allow up to five days for this to arrive at the company’s registered office.

You can also use third-party software to file your accounts.

You should only send paper accounts if you cannot file them online. Accounts filed on paper need to be manually checked and processed by our teams during office opening hours. We’re continuing to follow government guidance for working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19), and this means it could take longer than usual to process paper documents sent by post.

If you need to file accounts on paper, send them to us well before the deadline. This will give you plenty of time to correct the accounts and resend them if they are rejected. Consider using a guaranteed next day delivery service, though we cannot accept postal delays as an excuse for filing late.

Guidance and support

Running your own company can be exciting, but also challenging. Directors have lots of responsibilities, including keeping company records up-to-date and making sure they’re filed on time.  

To help, we’re launching a new series of bite-sized webinars to provide support and guidance to both new and existing company directors. They may also be of interest to those who may file on a company’s behalf.

In the weekly 30 minute webinars, we’ll discuss: 

  • filing on time, filing online
  • accounts and how to avoid late filing penalties
  • the digital tools and services that are available to help
  • business support FAQs
  • data protection from the Information Commissioner's Office.

Starting on 22 September at 10.30, our expert panel will be available to answer questions about online filing and directors' responsibilities. Visit our website to register for all webinars in the series.

As well as this webinar series, our How-to YouTube videos offer guidance on how to use our online services. Our online directors’ toolkit also includes some useful links and digital tools to help directors understand more about their role and responsibilities as a company director.

Additional resources

There are a number ACCA factsheets relating to FRS 102 that you may find helpful:

Changes to FRS 102 for small entities (section 1A)

FRS 102 – small company reporting

FRS 102 – reporting for medium-sized and large entities