Contracting can often be a major step in your career, allowing you to manage your own time, work on contract that you want to do, and gives flexibility that you cannot always have in a PAYE role. Alongside this, there is also the potential of earning a significant amount of money, especially given the ability to work through a limited company and minimise the amount of tax you are required to pay.
In order to get the most of this, you will need an accountant to help guide you through the somewhat confusing world of tax, accountancy and bookkeeping.
Contractors are common in a wide range of industries, including IT, Financial Services, Construction, Creatives and many more. The chances are, you have either worked alongside or dealt with contractors yourself in the past. You may have also heard horror stories of people who have miss-handled their finances and found themselves in a position whereby they cannot pay their tax bill at the end of the year, or they have been hit with an unexpected bill. As a result, it is essential that you have an understanding of the rules and regulations governing contractors as well as your tax liabilities.
There are a wide range of specialist contractor accountants in the UK, and working with one of these is essential to ensure you are getting the most relevant and up-to-date guidance on IR35, tax advice and software provisions. Each of these specialist accountants will have certain industries that they consider themselves experts in, whether that be construction, oil/gas, off-shore workers or IT, creatives and more.
HMRC are making major changes to the ‘flexible workforce’ industry, in particular, IR35 regulations, meaning it is becoming more important than ever to use a specialist accountant. Many of our contractor accountants are heavily involved in the government discussions, meaning they are extremely up to date with these changes and can pass on this knowledge to their client-base.
Most contractor-specific packages will include the ‘basics’ (corporation tax calculation, tax returns, annual accounts submission and payroll for the director), however, the additional services that they include comes down to the individual firm. Some packages will include your self-assessment, bookkeeping, payroll for additional staff, company formation and IR35 reviews for example. If you are happy to do some of the work yourself, you will often find that you will save money on your fees.
Another question to ask is: “who will be providing the services?” With some firms, you will be dealing directly with a trained accountant at all times, whereas other firms you will be dealing with a junior or account manager, and speaking only to an accountant when you have an issue or specific question. This is down to personal preference as there can be pro’s and con’s to each option, and which suits you best is dependent on your situation.
There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing the right accountant for your IT contracting business. This includes:
The pricing for contractor packages does vary across the market, often ranging from £75pcm to £200pcm although there are cheaper and more expensive packages available. You will often find that the majority of contractor packages are charged monthly, on a rolling contract, so you are not necessarily tied in.
Whilst the cheaper packages may seem desirable on first glance, you may find that paying for a more premium service could save you more money in the long run, so make sure you take your time to review what is included in the package and gain an understanding on how much advice the accountant is likely to provide in a given year. Some accountants will charge extra for certain services, so it is always worth adding these additional fees up before going ahead with a package that has an attractive ‘headline’ fee. Seeking guidance from other clients or an impartial introducer can help you ensure you find a package at a price that suits you.
Different packages will included different levels of service. Most contractor-specific packages will include the ‘basics’ (corporation tax calculation, tax returns, annual accounts submission and payroll for the director), however the additional services that they include comes down to the individual firm. Some packages will include your self-assessment, bookkeeping, payroll for additional staff, company formation and IR35 reviews for example. If you are happy to do some of the work yourself, you will often find that you will save money on your fees.
If your industry requires specialist advice such as CIS or working off-shore, it is worth searching out a firm who have experience in your sector to ensure you don’t come across issues later down the line.
You may find accountants in the market who are cheaper than others, and appear to have an inclusive service, however if they are not experienced within the your industry, you may find that you are given out-of-date advice and may not be saving as much money as you could with a more experienced provider.
Just Accountants have been helping businesses of all shapes and sizes to find the right accountant for them, by providing a personal and consultative approach to understand the business in question, we are able to build up a picture of the type of firm who will be best placed to assist with their exact requirements. We’ve been doing this for over 6 years, helping 1000’s of business owners to reduce the stress of finding a new firm, whilst also helping them save £££’s on fees and taxes.
We work with the majority of the top contractor accountants across the UK, and specialise in successfully helping limited company contractors to find the most suitable accountant for their needs. Our extensive panel allows us to compare the top accountancy packages and services available to you, and ensure the solution will suit your business’ current needs. At Just Accountants, we understand that over time needs and circumstances change, therefore we provide a detailed comparison service to contractors looking for an accountant or simply wishing to review their current service to ensure they’re getting the best package possible for their current goals and circumstances. We have vast experience in comparing the market, so are able to run through the options, services and prices with you to ensure you are confident that you are speaking to the right firm for the job.
Rather than just providing a name of an accountancy firm, we will organise an initial call with them, as well as follow up throughout the process to ensure that the recommended service is right for you. We also keep in touch with all of our clients throughout their time with the accountant, allowing us to monitor the services levels of each firm and to ensure that no issues arise in the future.
We can help you find the right accountancy package free of charge:
Even if you’re unhappy with your current accountant or you feel it is time to move on, we’ll help review and transition you to the best fit for your business at that time.
Best of all, our entire service is completely free. We do not change yourselves or the accountants and do not take a commission should you decide to go ahead.
We’ve got a range of information on our site to help you better understand the landscape of contractor accountancy, have a look around some of these pages to find out more on how specific industries could benefit from working with a contractor specialist, or take a look at our expert guides for some quick information on how to find the right accountant, IR35 and more.
Click on an industry to find out more…
We work closely with our panel of specialist accountants for contractors to create informative guides – using industry insider knowledge these are a must-read for contractors looking into accountancy for their business.
Click on a guide to download as a .PDF