If you have decided to start contracting as a limited company, you will need to get an accountant who can manage all your finances and ensure you don’t encounter any nasty surprises. Here at Cyberteam, we’ve put together a guide on making sure you choose the right accountant for your limited company.
Why do you need an accountant?
There are very few contractors who attempt to manage their finances themselves, especially as in the contractor market, time is money. If you are running a limited company, you should not that all income, assets, expenditure and liabilities must be fully and accurately recorded at all times. This can be a time-consuming process, and all business records have to be kept for a minimum of six years. It is best to ensure you can rely on a qualified – and preferably specialised in the contracting industry – accountant who can handle the financial side of things.
- Specialist, not just qualified
There are many accountants out there that will have the skills to provide a decent service, however there are now many specialist firms that exist to primarily focus on the contractor industry. These firms have a more in-depth knowledge of the specific accounting and tax laws that apply to the contractor industry, particularly the dreaded IR35.
- Check what’s on offer
Most firms will offer a specific package in exchange for a fixed monthly fee. Make sure you do your research into the different packages that are available to you, as some will include more than others.
- Go qualification hunting
This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised. Do your research and check to make sure the services are offered by chartered accountants who have a professional qualification.
- Listen to your fellow contractors
Recommendations are a key way to find out if something or someone does what it is supposed to. We check the reviews of products before purchasing, so why not talk to other contractors to see what accountant they use? Good or bad, at least you will have a better understanding of who to avoid and who to go for.
- Know your needs
Specialist firms can vary in size. Some will handle hundreds of clients, others thousands. It’s important to know the type of service you require from your accountant. For example, if you would prefer support from the same individual time and time again, then a smaller firm might be better fit for you.
- Weigh up the cost
When you compare the different packages available to you, you should also weigh up the cost of each and the level of service offered. The cheapest isn’t necessarily the best option and might not cover everything you need it to.
For a specialist accountant, you can expect to pay anywhere between £60-£120 a month.
If you’re a contractor looking for work in IT, or a business looking for a contractor, Cyberteam can help. Email us at email@example.com or call us at our offices in London (+44 (0)207 849 3082) or Leeds (+44 (0)113 398 4070).