Regardless of whether you’re a private or public company, the duties of a company secretary still need to be fulfilled, and in the case of a public company, you are required to appoint a formal company secretary.
But what does this mean?
Company secretarial duties usually include creating and maintaining the company’s registers and making all the necessary filings at Companies House within prescribed timescales. If you are the director of your company, the responsibility, or rather, the legal obligation, falls on you to ensure that your business meets these obligations. Unfortunately, as many businesses who have fallen foul of this can attest to, there are severe penalties for non-compliance.
How you choose to meet these requirements usually depends on your (or your leadership team’s) knowledge of the process and the time they have available to do all of this themselves.
The process is complex, especially in the case of high-growth, public companies. You are responsible for the strategic direction of your business, while at the same time, trying to maintain a close relationship with your key stakeholders and shareholders, ensure that your business reporting structures are kept in track, ensure that your leadership team is focused on a vision that is aligned to your shareholders and that your clients and customers receive what they’re paying you for. It’s easy to get your head stuck in the day-to-day, causing you to lose sight of some of the operational and financial processes that you are duty bound to delivery.
That’s why many businesses choose to entrust this critical part of their business infrastructure to the experts – people who are 100% focused on keeping you in check and compliant, who are up to date with the latest standards, are aware of any proposed changes that affect your business directly and who understand the system from the inside-out.
Just 3 of the many activities covered by a Company Secretarial function include:
- Maintaining the company’s statutory registers: Every company is required to keep certain statutory registers, and many business leaders don’t realise that it can be a criminal offence not to keep these up to date. The main company registers include the register of members, register of transfers, register of allotments and the register of directors and secretaries.
- Managing the company’s records: As well as the statutory registers, there are other records that every company is required to maintain – and this is where it sometimes gets complicated. If your underlying process is not robust enough to accurately record and maintain your internal financial processes, this could become a major stumbling block causing you to be non-compliant – simply because your books are not in order. Some of these additional records include accountancy and tax records, PAYE information, VAT records, pension details and insurance records.
- Companies House filings: In the UK, the annual return and company accounts need to be filed with Companies House every year. But it’s not the only filing that needs to be made as other event-driven filings also need to be maintained. This may be in the form of any changes made within the structure of the business (For example, when the company’s registered office changes or new directors are appointed. Omitting to file these changes can also be construed as a criminal offence.
CFPro has been providing these services, and others, for many years. Our highly experienced team of experts have worked with organisations of all sizes, public and private, growing and established. We understand the steps in every business cycle, and the responsibilities involved. That’s why organisations trust us to keep them in check. Get in touch with us today to discuss your own business requirements.