In an effort to increase compliance, Companies House has recently adopted a carrot & stick approach; by introducing the option of e-filing accounts thus improving the ease, speed & efficiency of lodging annual accounts, whilst at the same time "tightening up" their late filing penalty system and increasing the penalty amounts imposed.

It is not surprising that in these difficult times businesses want to avoid the cost of late filing penalties which can be between £150 and £1500.  But what may come as a surprise is the value of "non-compliance".

Companies House is an Executive Agency of the Department of Business Innovation & Skills, and in line with their transparency, statistics and reports are easily accessible. On close inspection of these statistics it would seem that Accounts Late Filing Penalties are a major source of this Government Agency's income.

In the month of October (2012) in Scotland alone, 815 penalties were imposed with a value of £400,000.

In the UK for the month of October (2012) 16,560 penalties were imposed with a staggering value of £7,279,000.

It's hard to believe that these figures are for just one month... and gives a new slant to the old saying "better late than never".

In our role as providing Company Secretarial services to over 200 companies, one of our main aims is to ensure that our clients avoid costly late filing penalties, by meeting the filing deadlines for their companies' Accounts. Our tailored reminder system allows adequate time for clients to then meet the filing deadline.