When starting out as a contractor it’s best to look for an accountant to help you along the way, and it’s important to ask the right questions. It’s no good getting a few months into your relationship with a specialist contractor accountant and realising you’ve been missing a certain service they had on offer from the very beginning. There are so many questions to ask when hiring an accountant, but it’s important to be specific with what you need from a specialist contractor accountant.
Luckily at Brookson, we’ve helped hundreds of people start their business and know the most pressing questions that contractors commonly ask.
What are the questions to ask when hiring an accountant for contractors?
- What is IR35?
- How much experience do you have?
- Are you regulated by a Professional Body?
- Do you check everything with a qualified accountant or are you relying solely on the automated accountancy software?
- Will I have one accountant I can contact directly?
- What payroll advice do you offer contractors?
- Who are the type of clients you typically deal with and what industries?
- Can you help me reduce my tax bill legally?
- What other services could you offer?
- Why should I hire you as my contractor accountant?
What is IR35?
IR35 is tax legislation that affects a limited company. As a contractor, it’s essential that you know and understand what IR35 legislation is so that when you’re looking for work and dealing with different job contracts, you know what to look out for. If you’re caught by IR35, accidentally or not, you face losing your contract tax benefits.
From April 2020, the responsibility of determining a contractor’s employment status will move from the contractor to their end hirer. Understandably, you would seek support from a company who has experience dealing with legislative changes, and that’s where we come in. We offer FREE unlimited IR35 reviews for contactors using our service, so you have nothing to fear! We’ll help you at all stages to ensure that everything is by the book and you don’t risk a decrease in your take-home pay.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
While it may seem like a simple question, asking how much experience a specialist contractor accountant has is quite important. Understanding what the accountant has dealt with in the past can come in very useful in the contracting industry, as you never know how the future months are going to go.
You want an accountant that’s on-hand and can answer your question without much fuss. Giving you the flexibility to react to any situation without wasting any time.
We have been helping contractors adjust and thrive in self-employed life since 1995. Working with over 90,000 contractors, we have vast amounts of experience when it comes to contractor accountancy.
Are you regulated by a Professional Body?
It’s key to find out whether an accountant is regulated, this helps you ensure they’re adhering to standard protocol. If your accountant is not qualified, or not a part of a larger organisation, you could be reducing your chances of a well-rounded accountancy service.
At Brookson we have several accreditations, we are also founder members of and adhere to the professional code of conduct of the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA). We have passed BSI ISO 27001 which means you can be safe in the knowledge that we have a robust approach to managing any information security. You can see all our accreditations here.
Do you check everything with a qualified accountant or are you relying solely on the automated accountancy software?
Having someone look at your accounts regularly as opposed to checking them once a year, or relying on their automated software, can mean you miss opportunities.
We believe this is extremely important and it takes someone with the relevant skills and understanding of all the latest information to see what changes are going to be a benefit to you.
While we do have our own Connect Accountancy Software, we do also have a team of accountants who work on our contractor accounts in house.
Will I have one accountant I can contact directly?
Knowing who you’re speaking to and making sure they’re familiar with your accounts and situation can save you a lot of time. Speaking to a dedicated accountant can feel very beneficial, the downside being that few online companies offer a dedicated accountant. Luckily, Brookson does and makes sure that every contractor has one point of contact that will handle your account. Your dedicated accountant will be there to answer any questions you may have, as well as working out the optimal way to manage your accounts and tax.
What payroll advice do you offer contractors?
This can help you decide on the additional features and benefits of a specialist, and is one of the more comprehensive questions to ask when hiring an accountant. It will help to highlight any potential gaps in their services.
We believe that every contractor’s account is as individual as you are, so we will always be on hand to give advice and guidance within our capabilities. And that’s not just for payroll, we can assist you with a variety of situations such as funding and insurance through our partners. We can even refer you to regulated financial and legal advice because at Brookson we are backed by both Brookson Financial and Brookson Legal.
Who are the type of clients you typically deal with and in what industries?
If you’re a specialist in your field, then it’s only right you want to be made to feel like one as well. If the accountants have no experience in dealing with your situation, can you be sure that they know what options are available? It’s best to pick a service that has a larger scope than one specific industry to ensure all areas of expertise can be covered.
We’ve seen many industries come through Brookson, from people working on blockbuster movies to oil and gas industries as well as IT contractors.
Can you help me reduce my tax bill legally?
Any accountant should, of course, say yes at this stage, but it does open up a dialogue about how they intend to maximise your take-home pay while remaining within the law, and you should fairly quickly be able to tell their level of knowledge.
As a founding member of the FCSA, we have a code of conduct to ensure that your accounts comply with the requirements of the law, but that they also maximise your take-home pay wherever possible.
Why should I hire you as my contractor accountant?
Turn the question on them and let them explain why. In your work life, you’re no doubt used to relying on a mixture of facts and figures, but also a gut feeling. If you don’t feel like every angle has been covered, then look elsewhere. There are a lot of cheap accountancy services out there, but that doesn’t mean they will be right for you.
Here at Brookson, we have years of knowledge and experience in contractor legislation. There isn’t a situation we haven’t seen and successfully dealt with and we’re confident we’ll be able to help you with any questions you may have.
We hope you found some inspiration for the questions to ask when hiring an accountant and that you consider Brookson to help you as we have helped more than 90,000 contractors since 1995.
Get in touch for a FREE consultation today and we’ll help you begin your contracting career!