If you work as a contractor and have made the move to a limited company, then you will need to hire a contractor accountant.
There are plenty of contractor accountants available to choose from and making that choice can be a difficult one.
It’s important that you feel confident and secure in your choice and that you get exactly what you paid for.
Contractor accountants all promise different things and make different claims that can be hard to verify through a cursory search.
You’re hiring an accountant to help you with your taxes, so it’s crucial that the person you choose is reputable, reliable and experienced.
Here are some handy tips that should help you to choose the right contractor accountant.
Ideally, the contractor accountant that you choose should be one that’s verifiable in their experience and knowledgeable in contracting matters.
A specialist is more likely to better meet your accounting needs and help you through the tax process with more expertise and efficiency.
For instance, contractor accountants must have experience in IR35, a UK legislation that taxes ‘disguised employment’ (workers who receive payments from a client via an intermediary).
You should ensure that your accountant can provide you with references and their qualifications upon request; this is the key to helping you verify them as a service provider.
Cost is always a large factor in any decision making process, and it clearly plays into the decision of choosing a contractor.
For instance, a contractor that offers a very cheap fixed price might seem appealing initially, but you might receive a cheaper service as a result.
If you want high quality work then you need to pay a decent amount of money for it.
Most contractor accounts worth their salt will charge a fixed fee and there shouldn’t be too much variation in price generally; instead you should keep an eye out for extra or hidden fees that might surprise you later.
Ensure that you confirm what is included in the price and ask for a cost breakdown before proceeding.
Know what you want
Ultimately, you will enter the process with a clear idea of what kind of service that you’re looking for.
For example, some people want to be able to meet their accountant in person, but if you’ve gone further afield to find them then this may not be possible.
Others might prefer to go with a larger practice because they would rather have the confirmed expertise and reliability, whilst others would prefer to go with a smaller organisation or independent contractor accountant because they would rather build up a closer working relationship.
All of these have their upsides and downsides; that smaller organisation might have all the qualifications but might be less reliable when a deadline comes around, for instance.
Go into the search with a set idea of what you want, and the rest should follow naturally.
A lot of research and care needs to go into finding the right contractor accountant, but if you follow the above tips then the search should be easier for it.