Christopher Hill, the Huddersfield-based director of Inventive Security Limited (Inventive), was disqualified from acting as a director for seven years from 27 March 2014 for failing to keep proper records, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

Mr Hill (34), the sole director of Inventive, gave a disqualification undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills not to control or manage a company without leave of the court. He did not dispute that he had failed to ensure the company maintained, preserved or delivered adequate accounting records.

He told investigators that the companys records, which were stored on a laptop, were stolen from his car a week after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) had demanded he provided them for inspection for the second time. He also stated that although he backed up his electronic records, he had left the back up with the laptop and this was stolen as well.

As a result, it was not possible for the liquidator to establish the income and expenditure of the company, or account for cash withdrawals of more than 130,000.

The company also failed to submit VAT returns for more than two years. HMRC raised a claim for 594,176, following an inspection of its customers records, none of which was paid.

Robert Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said:

Directors have a duty to ensure that their companies maintain proper accounting records, and, following insolvency, deliver them to the liquidator, or face the consequences.

Mr Hill failed to do this and has now paid the price as he cannot carry on in business other than at his own risk.

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.

Where records are held electronically the expectation is that a company will keep a separate, up to date, back up in a secure location.