Payroll company boss banned over record keeping failures

The director of a payroll processing company based in Yorkshire has been disqualified for seven years after failing to ensure the company kept proper books and records, which meant numerous payments into and out of its bank account could not be verified.

In January 2016, John Thomas Hanbury was appointed a director of Crownsbury Ltd, after which date the company operated a payroll processing bureau, which it had not done prior to his appointment.

However, the company entered into administration in July of the same year. The Insolvency Service’s subsequent investigation found that between 4 January and 18 July 2016 Hanbury had failed to ensure Crownsbury maintained and/or preserved adequate accounting records.

He also failed to deliver adequate accounting records to the joint administrators when required to do so. As a result, it has not been possible to verify what the company’s income and expenditure was after 3 May 2016 – the date its bank account was closed.

Further investigations found that it was not possible to determine the reason for receipts totalling £7,849 received between 24 March 2016 and 8 April 2016 into Crownsbury’s bank account from a connected company, of which Hanbury is a director, as well as determining the reason for a receipt of £520,000 into Crownsbury’s bank account on 15 April 2016.

There were numerous other payments out of the company’s bank account for which no proper explanation or verification could be found.

Anthea Simpson, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Directors have a duty to ensure their companies maintain proper accounting records and, following insolvency, deliver them to the office-holder in the interests of fairness and transparency.

“Without a full account of transactions it is impossible to determine whether a director has discharged his duties properly, or is using a lack of documentation as a cloak for impropriety.”

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