The Companies Registration Office (CRO) recently received its first electronic filing from Dublin-based accountants Leahy & Co, using a special module developed by accountancy software firm Relate Software.
Every year the CRO receives 100,000 annual returns manually and it has been pushing to get accountants to switch from paper to electronic media to save time and money. To this end the CRO has extended a €20 credit for every application it receives electronically.
Marino-based Leahy & Co became the country’s first accountancy firm to file annual returns on behalf of its client Synertech, just before Christmas.
Ray Rogers of Relate Software explained that recent changes in corporate governance rules have meant that firms today are faced with late filing fees and penalties.
“Our e-filing was done through an electronic data interchange (EDI) system. The company secretary is given a PIN number by the CRO and what we do is create a digital certificate to match that and our software sends the annual return on their behalf,” Rogers explained. He added that Leahy & Co will be moving their online accounts filing system to an XML-based standard in coming months.
“We developed a full module that will manage and deal with the entire administration of annual returns which we can roll out to clients in hundreds of accountancy firms and businesses around the country,” he said.
“A typical accountancy practice can have anything up to 1,000 clients, so with a €20 credit per annual return, a potential saving of up to €20,000 a year has aroused considerable interest,” Rogers told siliconrepublic.com.
Paul Farrell, company registrar at the CRO said: “As a result of greatly improved compliance with the Companies Acts, the number of annual returns being filed has increased significantly, with over 100,000 filed last year. The availability of software packages like Relate, which allows returns to be prepared and filed electronically, will be of enormous benefit to all parties.”
By John Kennedy