Finding the right accountant for you

When you’re a contractor, a high street accountant simply won’t cut it. Accountants for contractors are a specialised breed and anyone you hire will have to have the knowledge specific to the needs of your business. As a bare minimum, a contractor’s accountant should understand the legislature that pertains to you such as IR35 and MSC (Managed Service Company) rules.

Contractor accounting services vary enormously and whether you’re looking for specialist contractor accountants in London or you’d prefer to work with someone from further afield (there are plenty of online accountants for contractors) you’ll find that you’ll be catered for. There are also accountants that specialise in specific industries, for example, an IT contractor accountant will be especially sensitive to the nature of that particular industry.

 

Finding the right accountant for you

When it comes to the type of money you’re willing to spend, accounting services for contractors will usually set you back between £60 and £100 per month. To make sure you’re getting the most for your money, consult with your prospective accountant to determine exactly what services are included in your bill so that you’re not stung for something you thought was included in the monthly fee. For instance, not every accountant offers unlimited phone support, especially if they’re working in a smaller firm. Online accounting for contractors can sometimes be a slightly different experience, with more expectation placed on the contractor themselves to undertake some of the admin. As is often the case with contracting work, communication is key!

Frequently asked questions

  • What is a contractor accountant?

    The responsibilities of an accountant who specialises in working with contractors will depend on the extent to which you’ve established your business and what package of services you require. As you might have already discovered, a contractor’s finances can be extremely complex. Unless you’re extremely confident about doing your accounts on your own, enlisting the services of a contractor accountant is a smart move.

    If you’re just setting up your contracting business

    A contractor accountant will be responsible for setting up your limited company, registering your business for VAT and setting up a business bank account.

    If you’re already established as a limited company contractor

    If you’re already running your limited company, it can be the responsibility of an accountant to run your monthly payroll, deal directly with HMRC, complete your CT600 (corporation tax return) automate your bookkeeping, invoicing and prepare your yearly accounts for submission to Companies House and HMRC. Your accountant can also provide visa and mortgage references if required although there may be extra charges for this.

    Contract accountants will also be well versed in contractor-specific law. Your accountant should be able to handle IR35 contract reviews and keep you abreast of where you stand in terms of taxation. Depending on the level of service you’ve paid for, they should be available for personal consultations and advice so that your business runs as smoothly as possible.

Download our Guide to Accounting

When you become a contractor, one of the first things you have to consider is how you’re going to manage your money. This guide will take you through the process of managing your business accounts and help you decide if using an accountant will work for you.

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