Need Help to Choose a Contractor Accountant?
How do you make sure that the contractor accountant you choose is right for you and can support you in making your business a success? It’s no secret that there are plenty of contractor accountants in the market and it’s a very competitive skill, but not all contractor accountants are equal.
Here, we guide you through the things that you should bear in mind when embarking on your search for a contractor accountant.
Find the contractor accountant for you
You trained hard to do what you do and as an expert, your clients seek the very best support and knowledge from you. You deserve that same support when choosing a contractor accountant. The firm you choose should be a source of trust, knowledge and commitment for as long as you need them.
Look for a firm that offers you a dedicated accountant that you can build a one to one connection with. Make sure you like your accountant and you can build a rapport; they should demonstrate a good understanding of your business. It is important your accountant is supported by a team of experienced professionals, that way you will get access to more than one point of view, and a larger pool of specialisms.
Make sure they truly are specialists
It’s easy for a business to declare they are specialists but take some time to see if they can support that claim. In the world of contracting, it’s important that your accountant understands the constantly evolving legislation and that their processes are regularly audited to ensure they meet the highest standards of advice. Accredited membership of the FCSA is a good place to start checking out a firm’s credentials as you can be sure their processes and advice have undergone rigorous reviews.
Truly specialist contractor accountants will also have access to a wealth of supporting professionals who understand the challenges faced by contractors when looking to provide protection for their families or take on a mortgage. By working with the right people who understand the sector, nothing is impossible.
You may feel you don’t require a specialist contractor accountant, instead preferring one that’s local to you but remember not all local accountants understand the environment contractors work in, particularly IR35 legislation. With technology as it is today, a specialist contractor accountant can be as local as your “pocket” available by way of phone, video calls, Skype to name a few. Unusually, Orange Genie Accountancy offer free face to face meetings anywhere in the UK
Ensure they can support you long term
Life tends to throw curve balls at us and sometimes our plans change. Make sure your chosen accountant can support you through these times. The IR35 public sector reforms resulted in many contractors choosing to opt for the umbrella solution, even if they kept their limited company open also. Orange Genie Accountancy offers Orange Genie Complete which allow you to switch easily and quickly between our Umbrella solution and using your Limited company depending on what is right at the time.
With changes to IR35 expected in the private sector in 2020, it is anticipated that more contractors will select an umbrella solution so being able to stay with the same advisor will mean administration is easier and tax planning can be maximised.
Compare their contractor packages
No two contractor accountants are the same and no two contractors are the same. Make sure you know what level of support you are looking for so you can determine which accountant and which package represents the best value for money for you and your business. It’s important to check what their packages contain and whether it has everything you need for your particular situation.
Make sure you ask about hidden charges and don’t be afraid to question the package. Do you get a really good feeling about a firm but are not quite sure that the package on offer is right for you? A good contractor accountant will work with you to tweak the service to ensure you do feel you are getting what you need.
Orange Genie Accountancy Fees and packages can be found here
Check they’re forward-thinking
The world is moving very quickly and you and your accountant will need to keep up. Make sure your accountant is constantly looking forward. Cloud accounting software has opened up lots of opportunities for you and your advisors to work in collaboration. You will have full visibility over your finances in real time and your accountant should be able to provide proactive advice regularly.
HMRC have rolled out Making Tax Digital for VAT from April 2019 and with other taxes to follow its important that your accountant’s technology and your access to systems stays compliant. They should be offering the latest bookkeeping software to ensure you can meet your digital obligations, and they need to be doing this now so that you’ll find it effortless by the time the digitalisation of tax becomes mandatory. Orange Genie Accountancy provide all clients with access to the FreeAgent tool, which means we stay constantly ahead of where you and we need to be.