What to look for in a Contractor/Freelancer Specialist Accountant, and why you should ask for more…
If you are considering becoming a Contractor or Freelancer chances are you are already trawling the marketplace for a Specialist Contractor or Freelancer Accountant, or maybe you already have an accountant and just want to check that you are getting everything you need from your current relationship.
Here are a few essentials to look out for:
There are millions of accountants out there, but as a contractor you should look for a specialist in this field. Specialist contractor accountants not only have accounting expertise they also have an in-depth knowledge of legislation relevant to you such as IR35 and Managed Service Company Legislation.
Need Financial Planning advice such as Income Protection or Life Insurance? As specialist freelancer accountants we are used to these requests and can quickly point you in the right direction.
Did you decide to become a contractor or freelancer because of the tax efficiencies? Did you discuss with your accountant all your sources of income before making a decision on the best salary/dividend split to choose? Did an expert explain what this means in terms of tax (whether it’s company or personal tax)? These can all be pretty confusing topics if this is your first time as a Company Director.
Advice & Guidance
Leading on from this, it can also be pretty confusing if your accountant baffles you with accountancy jargon. Find someone who covers everything you need to know in plain English.
From the start when you need to incorporate a Limited Company, register with HMRC, get a bank account and understand your Director Responsibilities you should ensure every step is clearly explained by your point of contact. Whether your question is big or small, and asked by email or telephone knowing who will be responding, when they will respond and that you will understand that response is a great reassurance.
How much will this guidance cost? You don’t want to be invoiced for every call you make to your new accountant, particularly if you are calling for further explanation around ‘accountancy jargon’. Find an accountant who offers a fully inclusive fee in manageable monthly instalments.
What are your rates? You need to know this when pricing for jobs, but also consider it when appointing your specialist accountant.
Can you afford to be hands on yourself and take care of the day to day admin burden? Or would you actually save money by paying that little bit more for the reassurance that a specialist contractor accountant was taking care of all your accounts, tax and bookkeeping needs including processing all your expenses and invoicing your end client?
Proactive Vs Reactive
Good accountants will ensure you are aware of all important filing deadlines and dates for your diary. A specialist contractor accountant can also advise you on how much tax you should be keeping aside. You should never have to chase or remind them.
If you have any questions about starting up as Contractor or Freelancer – one of our Business Advisors would be more than happy to help on email or over the phone 01224 585599. If you are not happy with your current Accountant, we can offer you a hassle free transfer to our proactive services.
FW Accounting. You Count. We Count.