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Companies House: Business “Plumbing” now at Light Speed

Posted on September 1, 2014 by John Turner

The UK's Companies Registry has come a long, long way since 1862...

In this interview with Companies House CEO Tim Moss, we hear how the UK’s companies registry — which dates back to the mid 19th Century — is using XBRL to help UK commerce become more competitive. Since last last year Companies House has made it possible to freely download iXBRL financial statements for more than 1.5 million private and public companies. This is fully electronic reporting and a far cry from the paper registry of 1862! (Above)

Listen in to this 20 minute podcast:

Tune in:

  • We hear about the history of XBRL and iXBRL filing at Companies House.
  • Tim describes how the UK “social contract” that provides limited liability to companies and directors obliges businesses to be transparent, including by providing sets of financial statements each year.
  • We discuss the purpose of releasing accounts for free and what Companies House hopes will come from it.
  • And Tim encourages you  to leverage this resource and provide feedback to the agency about how you are using the data.

And yes — you can download more than 1.5 million company accounts from here.


Forms have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Companies House successfully used origami dinosaurs to get across the point that filing accounts and forms electronically is the way forward.

So what will you use this data for? Fill us in, in the comments below.

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