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Digital filing Time to take the plunge

Neil Butler and Jack Mansfield explain the benefits of filing your clients’ accounts digitally at Companies House.

All iXBRL accounts filed with Companies House are available to everyone free of charge, in bulk, on a daily basis as zipped files. One example of how this data is consumed is the company information market (eg, credit reference agencies) uploading these files directly into databases, in contrast to the traditional time-consuming processes involved in re-keying information from images of accounts. So by providing iXBRL to the public record via digital methods of delivery, companies and their accountancy firms are helping to improve the transparency and integrity of accounts and the information contained within them in ways that paper cannot possibly do.

Companies House’s strategy for becoming a fully digital organisation is fairly well known. However, against this background, it is striking that although 99% of companies are incorporated digitally, about 25% still file paper accounts. Why is this, when virtually everything else we do in business is transacted digitally?