Why doesn’t my accountant remind me to do things?

Calendar with thubmjacks

Every business has important dates to remember!

VAT Quarterly (or Monthly), filed one month and 7 days later paid by one month and 10 days later

PAYE/CIS Monthly – tax period to 5th of the month, filed by 19th paid by 22nd (you should remember monthly tasks without reminders)

RTI/FPS/EPS everytime you pay employees (you probably don’t need to be reminded to do this)

Company Accounts – due 9 months after year end, corporation tax payable 9 months and 1 day after year end

Self Assessment payments on account in January and July

Annual Returns on the 12 month anniversary of when the company started

Late Filing Stats

HMRC and Companies House apply tough penalties for filing late!

Its a common problem area, the fine comes in and then accountant and client blame each other

businesswoman is very multitasking

Its easy to understand how very large accounting practices simply lose track of when things need to be done

But it doesn’t have to be like this.

There are lots of ways your accountant could keep track of all the deadlines

Here is a list that I found on accountingweb posted by Howard Marks http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/anyanswers/question/practice-management-ultimate-list

AffinityLive (not accountant specific)

BTC PM Solution

Capium Practice Management

CCH Practice Management


Digita Practice Management




Iris Practice Management

Logical Office

MB Practice Manager


Practice Flow

Practice Launchpad

Work etc (not accountant specific)


My personal favourite is PracticeFlow, I have started using it for Bicknell Business Advisers.

Its not just dates you need to keep track of, if you are going to send out client reminders you will need UTR’s and amounts due. You Also need to track tasks and who has been allocated the work. PracticeFlow helps us do all of this and you can set sub-tasks and have 3 dates – start, planned to complete and deadline.

So why isn’t your accountant reminding you of important dates?

Last minute panics or penalties can be very stressful, makesure you know your deadlines or get reminders so that you can relax!

Working by the sea



Do I need to prepare Group Accounts?


If your Group passes 2 out of 3 of the following tests then you are Medium.

Group Table

In the first year you become Medium you are exempt from preparing Group Accounts but if you are Medium 2 years in a row you will need to prepare Group Accounts.







First there was Fair Trade, now there is Fair Tax……

The Fair Trade Mark is now common place on goods we buy ensuring that workers aren’t exploited, but now there is a new mark, the Fair Tax Mark.

The Fair Tax Mark Criteria assess the quality of a business’ publicly available information on key tax and transparency issues. In this context, publicly available information primarily means a full set of accounts available to all via Companies House or the company website. However, it can also include the company website and/or any other freely available printed material.

For every business type, the criteria are divided into two main categories that assess a business on:

  • Transparency

  • Tax rate, disclosure and avoidance


Will your business be applying to use the Fair Tax Mark? would you buy more from a business that uses the Mark?


Micro Entity Accounts – who can file them?

Micro Entity

Micro-entity accounts are a new type of accounts that can be submitted to Companies House from 1 December 2013. They will provide the smallest companies with the opportunity to prepare and publish simplified financial statements (profit & loss account; and balance sheet) if they wish.

A micro-entity is defined as meeting two of the following criteria:

  • Balance sheet total: £316,000
  • Net turnover: £632,000
  • Average number of employees during the financial year: 10 (or fewer)

Micro Entities are exempt from filing their profit and loss with Companies House.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said:

“Thriving micro-businesses are a vital ingredient for a stronger economy. However, because of their size they don’t always have dedicated finance teams behind them. We therefore need to make sure that they can focus on growing their business – rather than completing unnecessarily detailed paperwork.”

There are approximately 1.56 million micro-entities in the UK, as compared with a total number of companies on the UK register of approximately 2.8 million.

I don’t think this is going to help much? Micro Businesses still need to file corporation tax returns, deal with PAYE, RTI, VAT, minimum wage, Auto Enrolment Pensions, and a wide range of other requirements


Can I prepare Abbreviated Accounts?

Young woman with checklist over shoulder shot

There are 3 sizes of companies to consider when preparing your accounts; small, medium or large.  There are thresholds for turnover, balance sheet total (meaning the total of the fixed and current assets) and the average number of employees, which determine whether your company is small or medium-sized.  Any companies that do not meet the criteria for small or medium are large companies and will have to prepare and submit full accounts.

A small company can prepare and submit accounts according to special provisions in the Companies Act 2006 and the relevant regulations. This means that they can choose to disclose less information than medium-sized and large companies.

The Thresholds are:

Test Small Company Small Group Medium Company Audit Exempt
Sales must be below £6.5 million £6.5m net or £7.8m gross £25.9 million £6.5 million
Balance Sheet Total £3.26 million £3.26m net or  £3.9m gross £12.9 million £3.26 million
Average no. of employees 50 50 250 50

A small company must meet at least two of the conditions above.

Generally, small company accounts prepared for members include:

  • a profit and loss account
  • a full balance sheet, signed by a director on behalf of the board and the printed name of that director
  • notes to the accounts
  • group accounts (if a small parent company chooses to prepare them)

And they should be accompanied by:

  • a directors’ report that shows the signature of a secretary or director and their printed name
  • an auditors report that includes the printed name of the registered auditor (unless the company qualifies for exemption from audit and takes advantage of that exemption)

For financial years ending on or after 1 October 2012 a small company only needs to qualify as small to be exempt from Audit.

Even if a small company meets these criteria, it must still have its accounts audited if a member or members holding at least 10% of the nominal value of issued share capital or holding 10% of any class of shares demands it; or – in the case of a company limited by guarantee – 10% of its members in number.

A medium company must meet at least two of the conditions above for medium companies.

Medium-sized accounts must include:

  • a profit and loss account
  • a balance sheet, showing the printed name and signature of a director
  • notes to the accounts
  • group accounts (if appropriate)

And should be accompanied by:

  • a directors’ report including a business review showing the printed name of the approving secretary or director
  • an auditor’s report that includes the name of the registered auditor unless the company is exempt from audit

Medium-sized companies may omit certain information from the business review in their directors’ report (that is, analysis using key performance indicators so far as they relate to non-financial information). Also a medium-sized company which is part of an ineligible group can still take advantage of the exemption from disclosing non-financial key performance indicators in the business review.

Medium-sized companies preparing Companies Act accounts may omit disclosure with respect to compliance with accounting standards and related party transactions from the accounts they send to their members.

Abbreviated accounts of a medium-sized company must include:

  • the abbreviated profit and loss account (this must be full if preparing IAS accounts)
  • the full balance sheet showing the printed name and signature of a director
  • a special auditor’s report showing the printed name of the registered auditor
  • the directors’ report showing the printed name of the approving secretary or director
  • notes to the accounts

What is a dormant company?

A company is dormant if it has had no ‘significant accounting transactions’ during the accounting period. A significant accounting transaction is one which the company should enter in its accounting records.

When determining whether a company is dormant you can disregard the following transactions:

  • payment for shares taken by subscribers to the memorandum of association
  • fees paid to the Registrar of Companies for a change of company name, the re-registration of a company and filing annual returns
  • payment of a civil penalty for late filing of accounts

How long do I normally have to file my accounts?

The time normally allowed for delivering accounts to Companies House is:

  • 9 months from the accounting reference date for a private company
  • 6 months from the accounting reference date for a public company

You can submit the following accounts online:

  • dormant company accounts
  • small full audit exempt accounts
  • small audit exempt abbreviated accounts

Failure to deliver accounts on time is a criminal offence.

Further information available from Companies House