The new CORE Portal is launching on 16th December 2020 and we are like kids on Christmas morning waiting for the new system! The new Portal will bring CRO filings into the 21st century with new features that will make filing with CRO easier and more efficient.
The most welcome feature of the new portal is replacing the wet signature page with PDF upload of the signed signature page. This means no more signatures pages getting delayed or lost in the post!
Main Features of the new CORE Portal:
- PDF signature pages – no more posting!
- Automatic 56 days to file Annual Returns
- Preview, delete and re-upload the financial statements
- Facility to email link the signature page to the director and secretary to sign and upload
- If an Electronic Filing Agent signs the annual return signature page a separate certification must be uploaded with the financial statements
- System will work with Company Secretarial software
- One Stop Shop for all CRO Business
- Streamlined experience for users
- Enhanced search functionality
- Integrated document ordering
- Increased number of online forms
- Self-service account management
- Top-up credit facility
- Faster processing times
- Integrated errors and warnings
- Less send backs and rejections
- Full Online submission
PDF signature pages to replace posting wet signature pages
One of the most welcome advantages of the new CORE Portal is the ability to upload the signature page of the CRO form in PDF directly into the CORE Portal without the need to post the form to CRO. This will be a massive saving of time and stress trying to get in particular the annual return signature pages into the CRO before the deadline.
A signature page will still have to be generated and signed however a PDF version of the signed signature page may be uploaded to the system. The use of E-signatures to sign the signature page is not permitted.
Automatic 56 days to file Annual Returns
Another significant advantage of the new CORE Portal is the commencement of the new automatic 56 day period to file an annual return. Companies will have an automatic 56 days from its Annual Return Date to complete the filing of the annual return and upload of the financial statements.
This replaces the current two-step system of having to file the annual return electronically within 28 days of the ARD and then upload the financial statements and file the signature page within 28 days of that date.
Now companies will have an automatic 56 days from its annual return date to:
- prepare the annual return in CORE;
- upload the financial statements;
- Generate the signature page to be signed by wet signature of a director and secretary or use ROS;
- Upload the signed PDF signature page in CORE;
- Pay the filing fee
This allows companies to complete the filing of the annual return online within that 56 day period.
An important change in the process is the B1 signature page will only be generated AFTER THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS HAVE BEEN UPLOADED TO CORE. This will have a significant impact for presenters as often the financial statements are only signed off at the last minute and this may cause a short timeframe in which the signature page is sent to the director and secretary for signing and uploading into the CORE Portal.
Preview, delete and re-upload the financial statements
As mentioned above the financial statements must be uploaded in the CORE Portal. The new Portal will allow users to preview, delete and re-upload the financial statements before the signature page is generated. This caused a lot of issues for users of the old system. If the financial statements are deleted and a new version uploaded this will generate a new signature page so only the final version should be uploaded.
Note: The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.