Expert Contractor Accountant
Make sure the accountant specializes in contractor affairs and understands key
issues relating to contracting, such as IR35. This requirement is crucial, and
will rule out most high street accountants. Contractors should understand
exactly who is supposed to do what and by when. HMRC and other relevant bodies,
such as Companies House, will not accept as an excuse that something has been
filed incorrectly or paid late. It is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure
everything is done correctly and on time.
2. Verify Qualification
Find out whether
the accountant is registered with a professional accountancy body, such as the
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), or the Institute of
Chartered Accountants in England. If they are not, then move on. A specialist contractor accountant will have a thorough understanding of IR35
and how to tax plan and budget around the IR35 tax legislation. Contractors
should ensure that their contractor accountants only perform legitimate tasks
and adhere to the MSC rules.
3. Account skills
Accountancy Companies vary in size,
and you should choose one that suits your aim. A larger company might have
thousands of contractor clients, but may deliver a rather impersonal service. A
smaller one may deliver a more tailored service, but perhaps at a price. A
one-person practice might have all the key contractor accountant skills you
require, but might not be able to concentrate on your needs at busy times, such
as in the weeks before tax return deadlines.
Contractors should chat to fellow contractors and ask about their experiences
with different accountancy firms. References are usually one of the best
methods of judging which accountant is the right one.
5. Validate what’s included in the price
expect to pay between £60 – £90 + VAT per month for their accountancy services.
Typically, they should expect to receive: Annual accounts, Online Tax return, Payroll, Self assessment, P11D, VAT returns, and
References (e.g. for mortgages).
Make sure you know what you need
from your contractor accountant and check to see whether it is included in the