My accountant has wrongly submitted draft accounts to Companies House. How do I best fix this?
Running a company can often seem like a juggling act. With customers, suppliers, and staff to manage, many company directors choose to put the financials of their company in the hands of a professional. A huge amount of trust is placed in the accountant to ensure the company remains compliant and fulfils its legal accounting responsibilities. Therefore when something goes wrong, this can be a particularly worrying time. So where do you stand if you notice an incorrect version of your accounts have been inadvertently submitted to Companies House?
Unfortunately, as the director of your company, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure your accounts are submitted on time and that all the information contained is correct. While your accountant may be the one compiling the accounts, in the eyes of the law, it is your duty to ensure this is correct and an accurate reflection of your company’s financials.
If the wrong version of your accounts has been submitted to Companies House, whether this was with or without your knowledge, then remedial action needs to be taken as soon as possible. You need to contact your accountant, notify them of the error, and ensure they file the correct version of the accounts as a matter of urgency. If it is the draft accounts which have been submitted in error, then hopefully your accountant will have the final version complete and ready to submit. The revised accounts must be sent on paper, clearly marked “amended”, and you must state that they are to replace the original accounts.
Your next step is to contact Companies House and ask them to remove the incorrectly filed accounts. You can either ask your accountant to do this or you can make the call yourself. Unfortunately, Companies House are under no obligation to remove the original filing from your record, unless there was something fundamentally wrong with the document (aside from the incorrect figures) that it should have been rejected. The only way you can ensure the filing is removed from your company’s records for good is to seek a court order which grants their removal. This is a serious step to take, and you need to weigh up whether it is worth pursuing. You should consult a legal professional before going down this route. If the original filing remains on your records then the revised accounts will be listed alongside them and marked as “amended”.
The good news is that the incorrect filing will not have any negative impact regarding your compliance with HMRC rules, so long as the correct accounts are filed before the deadline. It also will not affect your status or standing as director; you will not be struck off for accidentally submitting the wrong accounts.
Your main consideration will be whether you are happy to continue with the same accountant going forwards. It is vitally important that you are confident in your accountant’s ability to keep your company compliant with both Companies House and HMRC. An accountant is there to help you and to ease the burden of the administrative side of running a business; if you are finding yourself concerned about your accountant’s competence, or worrying about whether they will make a similar or even a more similar mistake in the future, then you may wish to look elsewhere.
If you are in the market for a new accountant, Handpicked Accountants can help. We have carefully selected the very best accountants from around the country and are happy to recommend the most suitable accountant for your specific business needs. Start your search here.