If you’re a contractor, you’ve probably heard of the idea of taking on an accountant that specialises in supporting self-employed professionals. This probably sounds like a good idea, but you might be worried about the cost, or whether or not you would get the most out of using one.
It is perfectly normal to have questions like these, but where do you go for answers? Well, hopefully we can shed some light on how you can benefit from using a specialist contractor accountant, as well as how you can make the most of their services, to ensure you’re doing the best thing for your future.
Should I use a specialist contractor accountant?
The first thing to check is whether or not you will benefit from an accountant. Appointing one isn’t free after all and you will understandably want to make sure that you will be taking home more of your hard-earned cash as a result of doing so. Luckily, in the majority of circumstances, that is usually the case.
Unless you are just starting out, in-between assignments and have a lot of free time, doing your finances is already costing you money. Every hour spent doing them is an hour you could spend carrying out paid work and most contractors will find that the extra time they get from taking on an accountant more than pays for the cost of doing so.
But the benefits don’t stop there. A specialist contractor accountant will have the knowledge and expertise of people working and earning, just like you, and they will have the skills to support and advise you on how to make the most of your earnings. Through effective tax management, proactive advice and complete visibility, you will be able to relax in the knowledge your finances are being taken care of.
Why choose a specialist?
So, can you just opt for a general accountant, or do you need a specialist? Appointing a small high street accountant may seem easier and that little more personal with the ability to pop in and speak to your accountant at the end of the tax year however they don’t always have the knowledge and expertise to support highly skilled contractors.
A specialist accountant will provide proactive advice throughout the financial year, keeping an eye on your accounts almost daily to ensure you’re always operating in the most tax effective way. They will almost always have an online portal where you can log in, upload expenses, raise invoices and give you full visibility of your business 24/7/365.
Not only will a specialist have the technologies and accounting expertise, they should also be specialist in government legislation. This gives you the peace of mind that your accountant is always working compliantly and ensuring you are doing so too.
What should I look for?
When choosing an accountant is important that you ask yourself a number of questions;
- How much support do you need?
- Do you want a dedicated point of contact?
- Would you like to have visibility of your business online?
Once you have your criteria, you then make the search that little bit easier as you’ll know what to enquire about and what to expect.
Asking your colleagues, your recruitment agency or contracting friends can also be a great start to see if they have any recommendations or experience with contractor accountants. Looking at an accountant’s accreditations should give you reassurance in that they’re compliant and have been vetted by industry specialists. Accreditations from FCSA, ICAEW, APSCo and REC are industry wide, recognised bodies.
It can be daunting, choosing between different contractor accountants. However, there are plenty of places where you can seek advice. Here at Brookson One we have a complete Knowledge Centre where you can research the different ways you can work, how to get started and what options you have. We’ve also created a free guide which you can download here to further discuss the benefits of appointing a specialist contractor accountant.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to chat through the services we provide to contractors, get in touch today on 0800 230 0213.