Pay less tax: Choose the right contractor accountant

Choosing an accountant is a critical decision for any contractor. A good accountant is an asset to your business, handling your affairs efficiently and ensuring that you stay compliant with ever-changing legislation. Below, we highlight five crucial factors you should consider before taking the plunge.

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1. Certification

Anyone can call themselves an accountant or financial adviser. That’s why it’s important to ensure that whoever you hire is professionally qualified and regulated by a professional body.

Professional accountants will belong to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), while Chartered Accountants will be registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). You can visit either body’s website to find an accountant or check if yours is a member.

2. Expertise

Choose an accountant with a fair share of industry experience under their belt. Given the specialist knowledge required to take care of administration and tax for a limited company, it is best to find an accountant who is a contractor specialist.

A specialist contractor accountant will be familiar with the accounting requirements of a typical contractor, like retained earnings and IR35 compliance. They will therefore be able to understand your needs and handle the requirements quickly and efficiently.

3. References

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a good candidate. Ask other contractors for referrals and check online reviews to see what other people are saying.

Cashflow is the lifeblood of your company; your accountant needs to be organised and have good time management skills to ensure that your affairs are kept in order.

Hiring someone who is unreliable can be a costly mistake, so be sure to do your research before entrusting your finances to someone else.

4. Your needs

Depending on your individual needs, you may choose personalised quarterly service or just occasional financial advice. You should also consider whether you want face-to-face consultations or if you would prefer online, phone and email communication.

Know your needs so that your accountant understands what you require from them.

5. Fees

Confirm exactly what is and isn’t included in the price – you don’t want to receive a supplementary bill for something you assumed was included in your package.

You will find that contractor accountants tend to charge a fixed monthly fee, whereas a general accountant may charge you for a whole array of services, some of which are unnecessary for contractors.

Looking for a reliable, certified contractor accounting service? 1st Contact Accounting offers affordable services tailored to your needs. Give us a call on +44 (0) 808 141 1643 or send us an email at accountinginfo@1stcontact.com for more information.

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