Companies House nears public beta launch of online accounts-filing platform

Organisation lifts lid on progress of newly built service


Businesses across the UK will soon be able to file their annual accounts through an online service.

A blog from Companies House reveals that a private beta version of the service was launched recently. The tool, which currently covers the filing of abridged accounts, has already received more than 2,000 filings, and is due to undergo a beta assessment in February, after which, if all goes well, it will launch in public beta.

The service, which has been created from scratch, has been in development since Autumn 2016. This initial work was difficult but rewarding, according to scrum master Ruth Ryan.

 “[It] was both a challenging and exciting phase for us as a delivery team – as it was not only a new service which we were enabling for our users, but also the basis of the new filing platform,” she said. “This meant we had a lot of questions to answer and a new technical stack to learn. We worked very closely with our user researchers and interaction designers early on, attending usability sessions and combining our technical knowledge with the service design, to develop a better journey for our users.”

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Having successfully passed into its alpha phase, which began in February 2017, Ryan and her team worked on building out “stripped-down version of the service, which would meet the majority of user needs and the common-case journey”. It also created the application for filing abridged accounts, “but also ensured it would fit into an entirely new filing system made up of smaller components”, she said. 

“Having smaller component parts [allowed] us to make changes much quicker and respond rapidly to the needs of our users,” Ryan added. “This forms the basis of our new filing platform, which will support future filings and will be used by companies to keep their data up to date for years to come.”

Ryan claimed that feedback from early users of the private beta version has been broadly positive. More input will be sought over the coming weeks as her team seeks to continue improving the service.

“We’ve quickly iterated the service, releasing enhanced features and responding to feedback over the last few weeks. We’re continuing to work on delivering additional features to allow even more companies to use the service and further improve the user experience.”


Sam Trendall

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