Being a self-employed contractor has many advantages over being a full-time employee at a regular company. Increased pay, being your own boss, managing your own time and countless others, it’s hard to find reasons why you wouldn’t start contracting right now.
The main downside when immediately transferring to contracting is the financial side. With most self-employed contractors having skills in many industries, most don’t have much financial knowledge when it comes to a limited or umbrella company. So the thought of managing their own finances can be pretty daunting; this is where specialist accountants can help.
Brookson looks at why specialist accountants are needed and why you should use their services.
All accountants have access to the current law legislation. Still, without a specialised accountant or accountancy service, you’ll be unsure if the laws that apply to you will be focused on. Taxes such as IR35, which specifically applies to contractors, freelancers and the self-employed, ensure that ‘disguised employment’ is taxed at the same rate. Whether this affects you or not, it still will have a considerable effect on your take-home pay.
Only with a specialist accountant will you be guaranteed that these types of laws are followed to the letter, and when it comes to the end of the financial year, you’re fully covered and prepared. Specialist accountants such as Brooksons will ensure you have everything ready to comply with IR35, leaving you time to focus on other aspects of your work.
Specialist accountants have a vast amount of knowledge in the industry and sectors that they operate. Extremely useful when you require an accountant with specific expertise in financial laws relating to you as a contractor.
A specialist accountant will already know the procedures on how contractors’ accounts are typically run to offer advice straight away on what kind of transactions are made and which expenses are likely to be reimbursed. They’re also well aware of the lifestyle of a typical contractor and the gaps in income that usually come with it.
Rather than using a general accountant that might not understand a contractor’s way of life, stick with a specialist accountant to ensure they’re looking out for what’s best for you.
Some advantages related to specialist accountants would be that many leading accountants offer easy-to-use online systems. You can check everything about your finance with one easy click on several devices. This allows for a tremendous amount of time saved between you and your accountant. Gone are the days when you need to send off bundles of paper via post and wait weeks for a response.
If you’re worried about security, then worry no longer, as the majority of the leading specialist accountants provide top tier security to ensure that the information is only viewed by you and your accountant. Another article on accounting for startups is a good read for freelancers.
Start as you mean to go on – a famous saying that’s applicable for contractors, aka freelancers, as you are your own boss. Being the boss requires discipline to do the mundane tasks well, including:
Bookkeeping and timesheets
Communication with recruiters
Training and education
You are your own salesperson. Therefore, you need to sell yourself. Always complete assignments and get reviews on your performance. A recruiter will favor the contractor with an exemplary completion record and favorable feedback as it makes them look good with their clients.
Make it easy for clients to love working with you with accurate timesheets and invoices. Open communication and seamless collaboration with their staff.
Finally, training and education are an overhead and investment in your career as a freelancer. Stay current with technology as well as what’s happening in your field of expertise.