iXBRL workflow

Watch a video covering this topic.

IXBRL is a way of describing financial transactions and statements in a way that makes them easier to compare. Elements of transactions and statements are tagged and computers can then recognise these tags, collate the data, analyse it and exchange it with other computers.

This article demonstrates how you might incorporate iXBRL into your workflow.

If you’d prefer to see specific topics covering iXBRL consider:

  • 1. Apply for eFiling with Companies House.
    You can apply to file with Companies House using their Electronic Filing service at the Companies House website. There is a document called the Online filing services credit account application available on their website that you should complete and post to Companies House.
  • 2. Offer eFiling service to your clients
    Your clients will need a Company Authentication Code provided by Companies House.
  • Your client can either contact Companies House directly and apply for one; or
  • You can request that Companies House send a code to your client’s registered office by going to http://ewf.companieshouse.gov.uk. Your client will then need to provide you with the code so you can submit via eFiling on their behalf.

Although this area of the website refers to webfiling, a complementary but different service than eFiling, the codes you apply for in this area are used for eFiling as well.

You can also write to Companies House specifying a six character, alphanumeric Company Authentication Code of your choice. This letter must be signed by a serving officer of your client, and it should specify that the client authorises permission for you to submit information on their behalf.

  • 3. Prepare the accounts as normal.
  • 4. Generate the set of accounts and resolve any validation issues.
    Accounts Preview > Full set of Accounts > Generate Set of Accounts > iXBRL file for online filing.

Sage Final Accounts checks the set of accounts for validation errors before generating the iXBRL file. If it finds any, you’ll be notified and must resolve them before an iXBRL file can be created. You can click Check Set of Accounts yourself at any point to see what validation errors there are.

You can generate full and abbreviated sets of accounts but only the former can be submitted to Companies House. If you’ve previously had a submission accepted or a submission is currently being checked by Companies House using Sage Final Accounts for the same set of accounts, you’ll only be able to generate the full set of accounts in iXBRL format.

  • 5. If this is the first time you’ve filed online using Sage Final Accounts, you’ll need to enter the following:
Presenter ID This will have been provided by Companies House when you applied to be a user of the electronic filing service.
Presenter authentication code This will have been provided by Companies House when you applied to be a user of the electronic filing service.
Registered email address The email address you used to set up your electronic filing service account with Companies House.

And if this is the first time you’ve filed online for this customer, you’ll need to enter:

Company authentication code Each of your clients that joins the Companies House electronic filing service, will be provided with a Company Authentication Code. This code is very much like a PIN code you would use with your bank and means only accounts that have been submitted with the company authentication code will be accepted. Companies House records these authentication codes against the relevant companies so that they can be verified when a document is filed on behalf of that company.
  • 6. Click Generate.
    Two iXBRL files will be generated.
Full set of accounts Used when submitting the final accounts to HMRC.
Abbreviated set of accounts Used when submitting the final accounts to Companies House.
  • 7. On the Client Summary page, in the Final Accounts section, you’ll see the latest iXBRL files you’ve generated for your client along with the status. If the file you’ve submitted isn’t in this section, click View all.
Generating The iXBRL file is actually being generated by the system.
Ready to file online The file is ready to be filed online.
Sending Sage Final Accounts is attempting to send the file to the filing authority, but hasn’t successfully done so yet.
Submitted The file has been successfully sent to the filing authority, but not yet formally accepted. Once a file has been successfully submitted, you can’t submit a replacement.
Parked The file has been successfully sent to the filing authority, but they are carrying out further enquiries.
Accepted The file has been formally accepted by the filing authority.
Ready to download The file is successfully generated but cannot be filed online.
Failed The filing authority rejected the file before it was successfully submitted through the gateway. Transmission error.
Rejected The filing authority had received the file, but rejected it after review. Click the file from the Final Accounts section and read the reason for the rejection from Companies House.

The submissions section doesn’t appear if no sets of accounts have been created that allow online submission of iXBRL formatted sets of accounts. The pod also only displays the five files that have had the most recent status updates. To view all files ever generated, click View all.

  • 8. Once submitted successfully through the gateway, it can take up to 24 hours for a Companies House examiner to check the submission and either accept or reject it. There can be further delays if they require more information in order to reach a decision. If it fails to submit through the gateway or is rejected by an examiner, the status will be updated in the Final Accounts section. Clicking the file will display the reasons for the rejection.

If rejected, check the reason, amend the set of accounts as appropriate and then regenerate the iXBRL set of accounts to go through the submission process again. Once a submission is accepted, no further action is required.
Companies House maintains a list of reasons for rejection.

If you try to resubmit a set of accounts in a status of ‘Rejected’ or ‘Failed’, you’ll see a message preventing you from doing this when you click File Online. If this happens, regenerate the set of accounts and try to file again.

If you try to resubmit a set of accounts that has the status ‘Sending’, ‘Submitted’ or ‘Parked’ or it’s already been accepted by Companies House you’ll see a message preventing you from doing this when you click File Online.

  • 9. If you want to download the iXBRL set of accounts, for example for use with submitting your CT600 in your Corporation Tax software:

On the Client Summary page, in the Final Accounts section, you’ll see entries for both the files created. They will share the same period date as the set of accounts you’ve been working on. Click the Full version of the file you want to submit. A summary of the iXBRL file is displayed.

Click Actions > Download.

The file will be downloaded to your computer with the extension .htm.

In the software you use to file your client’s company tax return, attach the iXBRL file you’ve downloaded, to your submission.

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