You might have heard of specialist contractor accountant, and how they are great for freelancers. But what actually are they? We explain here.
If you’re a contractor, you’re going to want someone to look after your finances. After all, doing them yourself is just going to eat into time that you could be using to do paid work, and unless you have a background in accounting they’re probably going to be hard for you to get right.
If you’ve done a bit of research into finding someone who can take care of this aspect of your self-employment, you might have heard the term ‘specialist contractor accountant’. While that sounds like it could be a great option for you, you aren’t sure. After all, what actually is a specialist contractor accountant?
Well, we’re here to help you out. By the end of this article, you should be fully informed about what these professionals are, and how they can help you with your finances. Which is good, as they can be incredibly helpful for freelancers dealing with tax, expenses and other areas of self-employment.
What is a Specialist Contractor Accountant
First of all, let’s start with the basics: a specialist contractor accountant is still just an accountant, like any other one you might find on the high street. However, there are some key differences, which is where the ‘specialist’ part comes from.
An accountancy firm could potentially have hundreds of clients, but even the smaller ones will be dealing with a few dozen. Generally, newer firms will deal with a wide range of clients, while larger ones will focus on big businesses and high-paying clients. This means their expertise tends to be broader and skewed more towards organisations than individuals.
As a contractor, this is the opposite of what you want. You need an accountant with plenty of experience dealing with the world of self-employment, and the many financial details and tax laws surrounding that. You also want someone used to working with individuals, as your experience will be vastly different from a company with 50 employees.
How can a Specialist Contractor Accountant help me?
This is why specialist contractor accountants exist. They deal entirely with small businesses, start-ups and the self-employed, immersing themselves in this world. This means they will be extremely well-versed in the specific challenges you will face going forwards, as well as your current needs.
For example, a specialist will have dealt with plenty of clients who have gone from being sole traders to setting up limited companies and taking on employees. If this is a route you have thought about going down, then a contractor accountant will be able to help you out with the financial side of things.
A specialist will also be familiar with the way that freelancers work. For example, you are more likely to be able to access your finances online if you work with a contractor accountant, as they will be aware that you might not want to work the typical nine-to-five day, and need to be able to look at where you stand at odd hours.
You will also be able to get proactive financial advice all year round. Many high-street accountants expect to deal with individuals only once a year – when tax returns are due – but as a contractor, you will need to be on top of your finances all the time. A specialist will understand this.
There are also elements like tax law to think about. As a contractor, you are covered by different legislation – such as IR35 – to permanent workers. High-street accountants will probably need to become familiar with these regulations, but specialists already are, as they affect all their clients.
If you’ve read all this and think “so a specialist contractor accountant is just someone who is experienced with my specific situation”, then you’d be right. You’ll get the same services as a high-street accountant, but made more specific to freelancers. If you’re a contractor, you will almost certainly benefit from choosing a specialist.
To find out more about working with a specialist contractor accountant and the services we offer book a FREE consultation today.