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When working as a Limited Company contractor or freelancer, having an accountant that understands your business is an important step to get right.
Having a good accountant can save you time and money and if you’re unsure how to manage it all effectively, hiring someone that specialises in contracting will definitely benefit your business.
It’s always a good idea to check when choosing your accountant that they understand IR35 - a company that does not know about this practice can have damaging effect to your business. Ask questions to ensure that they really do know about the tax legislation and haven’t just added it to their job specifications to entice more customers! Specialist contractors will usually have a good knowledge of IR35 and how to plan and budget around the IR35 tax legislation.
Word of mouth
If you’re in touch with other contractors, chat with them to see if they can recommend an accountant that specialises in contractors. References are often the best way in deciding which accountant is the best one for you.
Anyone can pass as a bookkeeper and can manage the basics of accounting however when you’re choosing an accountant to manage your business, check their background and ensure that you’re choosing an accountant that is qualified with relevant experience in the contractor industry. Check also that they are registered with a professional accountancy organisation. Being regulated will not only verify that they are compliant and credible, but it also confirms your accountant’s expertise and professionalism.
Do they offer more than accountancy?
A good contractor accountant will not just offer the standard accountancy service; they will also offer additional contractor specific services to help you in your business as a whole. It’s worth checking this when you’re looking for an accountant as it will save you time in the long term when looking for financial advice in other areas.
Check what’s included
Always check when signing up with a contractor accountant what’s included in the price. The last thing you need is to think you’re being cost effective by hiring an accountant and then be presented with a bigger invoice than you expected. Check what is included and also check what’s not included. Often accountants will offer different levels of service for you to choose from, therefore if your budget is tight, you can choose a service that is affordable to you. Discuss this at the time of communicating with any new accountant.
Manage your accountant
At the end of the day, it’s your job to manage your accountant well. They are not an employee or colleague and can only perform their job well if you provide the data that they require! It is your responsibility with HMRC to ensure that everything is completed correctly and on time and you cannot make up excuses that it wasn’t filed properly. Check everything, talk through anything that you don’t understand and ensure that you are playing your part in the tasks that you need to complete in order for your accountant to their job well too.
Simple switching process
Choose an accountant that makes switching to them a painless, hassle free process and does not overcharge you. A new accountant will need to check that your books are up to date and everything is in order prior to them taking over but this can all be discussed when initiating the switch.
At 2020 Accountancy we want to make the process of working with an accountant as easy as possible. Having worked in the contractor industry for over 15 years, you can be assured that your business is our number one priority. If you’d like to discuss how working with a contractor specialist accountant will benefit you - get in touch!