Being a contractor comes with many responsibilities, from communicating with clients to purchasing materials and equipment. With so much to think about, things like finances can easily be pushed aside in favour of more pressing issues. Choosing a specialist contractor accountant can help you to manage your accounts, keep track of your taxes and reduce some of the stress of dealing with your finances.
Here are our eight top tips for choosing a contractor accountant:
1. Make sure they understand your work
It’s important that your accountant knows about the type of work you do and how they can best help you and your business. For example, they need to understand IR35 tax legislation and how to keep you compliant with it, because if they don’t then it could cost you a significant chunk of your income.
2. Assess their qualifications
Before hiring an accountant, ensure 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
A smaller accountancy firm tends to offer you a tailored service, and someone is usually available to talk to you whenever you have a question, but they often lack the reputation that bigger firms enjoy. A larger firm may have several accountants well-versed with the regulations pertaining to your area but the service can be highly impersonal. Both have pros and cons, and you need to weight them up before making a decision.
4. Speak to other contractors
Talking to other contractors about their experiences with their accountants can help you understand how you should be using an accountant for your business. It can also give you an insight into the responsibilities your accountant should be taking on.
5. Know what you’re paying for
There are a number of things you can expect from your accountancy firm:
- Annual accounts
- Tax returns
- Payroll (including set-up and ongoing management)
- 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. Discuss your business needs with your accountant clearly and make sure you understand what you’re paying for.
6. Check reviews from existing clients
A good way of checking if an accountancy firm is reputable or not is by listening to what their existing customers have said. When doing this, you need to ensure that you have a wide variety of sources – don’t just rely on online reviews as both bad and good reviews can be fake.
7. Check if they use online accounting
Cloud-based accounting has become so popular that every reputable company has a presence in the online accounting world. The better ones are often part of rewards programs that can offer you certain benefits for pairing with the accounting software. 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
Not all partnerships are fruitful and in the unfortunate circumstance when things don’t work 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 advice 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 building your business. We understand what services contractors require from accountants, including IR35 advice, tax returns and annual accounts assessments. That’s why we can provide a comprehensive service to our contractor clients. By working with us, we can ensure that you are prepared for the future and saving you money in the meantime.
For more information on how Tax Agility can help you with your contractor accountancy needs, call us today on 020 8108 0090 or fill out our Online Form.
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