Eight top tips for choosing a contractor accountant

From communicating with clients to purchasing materials and equipment, being a contractor comes with many responsibilities. With all of this responsibility, some things, like managing your finances, are bound to either become last-minute tasks or be forgotten entirely un-til it’s too late. Choosing a specialist contractor accountant can help you to manage your accounts, keep track of your taxes and can reduce some of the stress surrounding your financial responsibilities.

However, you can’t choose just any accountant for the job. There are many things you should consider before making a final decision to en-sure you get the most out of your accountant.

Here are our eight top tips for choosing a contractor accountant:

1. Choose an accountant that understands contractors

As a contractor, it’s important that your accountant knows about the type of work you do and how they can best help you and your business. It’s vital that your accountant understands IR35 tax legislation, as the current changes mean that falling on the wrong side of the law could cost you a significant chunk of your income.

2. Assess their qualifications

Before hiring an accountant, you must ensure that they are registered with an official accountancy body, such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

3. Decide between a small or large accountancy firm

Weighing up the pros and cons of hiring a small accountancy firm and a large one could help you make the best decision regarding who you choose to handle your accounts. A smaller firm will be able to offer you a tailored service, but it could potentially be more expensive. A larger firm is more likely to be familiar with contractor-specific legislation, such as IR35, but may provide a more impersonal service.

4. Speak to other contractors

Talking to other contractors about their experiences with their accountants can help you to understand how you should be using an accountant for your business. It can also give you an insight into the type of responsibilities your accountant should be taking on.

5. Know what you’re paying for

There are a number of things you should expect from your accountancy firm. They should be able to take care of your business’:

  • Annual accounts
  • Tax returns
  • Payroll (including set-up and ongoing management)
  • Self-assessment
  • VAT returns

Make sure you find out exactly what your contractor accountant can offer you. Let them know what you need and what you expect to be included in the price. Communicating this with your accountant can prevent you from unpleasant surprises like receiving an unexpected additional bill at the end of the month.

6. Check reviews from previous clients

A good way of checking if an accountancy company is reputable or not is by looking at what their previous customers have said. When doing this, you need to ensure that you have a wide variety of sources – while a good source of comments, online reviews have a tendency to be doctored in order to portray the company in a good light. You need to make sure that you’re getting an accurate representation.

7. Check if they use online accounting

Cloud-based accounting has become so popular that no reputable company is seen without some presence in the online accounting world, no matter how small. The better ones will often be part of re-wards programs that can offer you certain benefits for pairing with the company. For example, Tax Agility is a gold partner to Xero, meaning we can provide you with numerous advantages as opposed to other firms that don’t hold this status.

Remember that there are various cloud accounting programs, each with different incentives, so it’s always worth checking to see what you’re getting.

8. Make sure you have the option to switch

You can’t afford to work with the wrong accountant for too long. If things aren’t working out, then the process of switching should be quick and painless. Before you accept their services, discuss the options of leaving whenever you want to ensure that there aren’t any circumstances that prevent you from making a quick switch.

Tax Agility – the contractor accountants you’re looking for!

At Tax Agility, we work hard to provide contractors with the best ad-vice regarding their finances. We offer tailored accountancy services for contractors that are specific to your needs and those of your business. By working with us, we can help you to be in better control over your finances and can ultimately save you time and money.

We can take care of your taxes so that you can concentrate on build-ing your business. We understand what services contractors require from accountants, including IR35 advice, tax returns and annual ac-counts assessments. That’s why we can provide a comprehensive service to our contractor clients, ensuring that they are prepared for the future and saving them money in the meantime.

For more information on how Tax Agility can help you with your accountancy needs, call us today on 020 8108 0090 or fill out our Online Form.

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