Get matched to the accountant who’s best value for you
When you work for yourself, you also need an accountant who can supply that personal touch. Affordability is paramount, of course – but you also want someone to help guide you through the maze of your bookkeeping, taxes and allowable expenses. It’s also great to have someone who understands the contractor life and even the industry in which you work. Specialist experience in your area can make a huge difference and help you avoid pitfalls before they happen.
How specialist accounting helps you to freelance
As a contractor, the most efficient way to operate is generally as a limited company. An accountant can help you set up as a limited company (‘incorporate’), reducing the risk of costly mistakes and easing the burden on you.
Once you’re set up as a company, your accountant will continue to provide invaluable ongoing support by taking care of your bookkeeping and taxes. Not only does this save you time and effort that you could better spend by earning, but it increases your chances of making additional savings through tax efficiency.
Contractors also have to ensure that they comply with IR35 legislation – your accountant can advise you on this. Finally, the right accountant can provide additional tips on operating as a limited company, based on their extensive experience of other client.
How do I choose the right accountant?
Aim for a good chemistry with your accountant. Have an informal meeting first, remotely if necessary, to ensure you’ll be comfortable working together.
Ensure that their services will meet your needs both now and in the future, and encourage them to explain how they’ll support you as your career develops. Check their qualifications and (if applicable) confirm their chartered status. Also ask about their industry experience – they should have plenty of other contractor clients. Finally, make sure you’re happy with the fees and charging methods.
Key services your accountant can provide
• Tax returns
• Improving tax efficiency
• IR35 compliance
• Expert advice
Free up your time
Find an expert you can trust to handle the financials, and focus on what you do best.
Avoid costly mistakes in tax, IR35 compliance and cash-flow management.
Improve your tax-efficiency, spend more time earning and maximise the cash you have to spend.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an accountant if I’m freelance?
When you work for yourself, you quickly discover how precious time can be. Even if you yourself are expert at doing your accounts, it isn’t a profitable use of your time when you could be working for someone else and getting paid for it. Your accountant can handle the task more quickly than you and with a far lower risk of mistakes.
Similarly, if your income is irregular or derives from several different sources, then you may need help with your self-assessment in order to pay the right amount of tax. An accountant can deliver a significant improvement in your take-home income, and also make your finances more predictable over the long term.
How much does an accountant cost?
You can find out how much an accountant costs for a wide range of services here.
Should I choose a human accountant or use software?
A wide range of accountancy software now exists to help businesses and individuals manage their accounts. In most cases this is best used in combination with services from a human accountant. You can maintain your books and all the data your accountant needs, and perform the simpler tasks, while leaving your accountant to add value through their experience and expertise.
What kind of accountancy firm should I choose?
Make sure that the firm you choose is the right size for your needs over the coming years. Generally, as a contractor it’s best to choose accountants who specialise in this type of client. Contractors have particular accounting needs that are best served by accountants with extensive experience of this kind of work. In particular, as a contractor you will want to know how best to negotiate the IR35 legislation. Make sure to mention that want a contracting specialist when you search for your accountant on Unbiased.