5 Tips for Finding the Best Contractor Accountants

For any business today that’s serious about staying on the right side of regulation, hiring a contractor accountant makes sense. These are professional experts who can help you to make the often arduous path to better business accounting practices easier to manage. However, with so many experts to choose from, it can take some time to work out who would be the ideal choice for you.

To help you out, we’ve put some key factors to consider when hiring any contractor accountant. If the specialists that you look at can fit in with the above, you will be in a good place!

Always pick specialist contractor accountants

The first aspect of picking contractor accountants suited to your business is ensuring they match-up with your specialisation. Hiring a specialist contractor accountant pays off as it makes the information they can provide on tax savings and reductions much more pertinent. For example, if you operate in the IT industry, it’s vital that you can learn about everything from acceptable expense amounts to using your P11D Form. A contractor accountant with expertise in your industry will know what would be classed as an acceptable expense, and what might not be seen as tax-deductible.

From business mileage and business phone calls to computer software and professional training, there are several expenses you might be unsure about listing due to industry relevance. An accountant who has knowledge of your industry is much more likely to spot these issues. IT contractors, for instance, often work from home: a contractor accountant who understands the IT industry may help you claim back any home maintenance costs, if any.  

Ask to see a professional reference from someone you trust who works within your industry, as this will help you to better understand their suitability to your needs. Ask industry relevant questions. Find out just how deep their knowledge is: do they really know as much as they say?

This is not something that you should take any half measures with. The best contractor accountants for you will be the ones who best understand and grasp the industry that you operate within. This will always be the case, so keep that in mind as your search goes on.

The best contractor accountants are IR35 compliant

Before you choose any contractor accountant, you must make sure that they are IR35 compliant. IR35 is a vital tax legislation which is used to try and combat tax avoidance for workers who supply their services to clients using an intermediary. If you would be classed as an employee without the use of an intermediary, then IR35 is very important to understand.

Also, it’s important that you choose contractor accountants with a working knowledge of how IR35 relates to you. Since IR35 can have significant impacts on your income for the year, it’s best to work with a contractor accountant who understands this important bit of legislation.

Despite being around since April 2000, IR35 is often poorly understood. This is why working with someone who can help you to better understand it matters so much. When making the choice of who the best contractor accountants would be in your situation, consider IR35.

Find a contractor accountant who is tech-savvy

Ideally, you want to work with an accountant who is technically savvy. While this used to be a mild advantage, today it’s one of the most important functions you can take on. You should look to make sure that they are both modern in their usage of tech, but also their knowledge of tech. For example, you will find that it’s important to pick a contractor accountant who can make the best use of solutions like cloud computing to increase efficiency, flexibility and save huge amounts of time.

This is why you should always look to hire a contractor accountant who understands cloud computing and is actively embracing digital technological change. As technology becomes more integral to how taxes and accounting will be handled with HMRC, knowing you are working with an accountant who is up-to-date on such measures is a significant comfort.

Know what kind of accountant you need

Take the time to work out what kind of help you actually need. When you hire a contractor accountant, they have many services and skills that they can offer you. Do you want someone who you can access at a moment’s notice? Or would you prefer to set up monthly or semi-regular meetings face-to-face?

Some people don’t mind doing their accountancy work over the phone or via video call. Others would prefer to do the whole thing in a face-to-face scenario. There is no right answer. You instead should only pick the option that feels most suitable to you.

The little things matter when choosing an accountant, including things like where they are based, who works with you and if you have a dedicated assistant. Also look into things like the costs. Will you be charged a monthly fee? The cost should not be the main concern – instead, concentrate on the end result of the service itself.

The service should cover things like annual accounts, tax returns and self-assessment, VAT management and various other minor tasks that you may need help with. However, be sure to ask what you get for what you pay: clarity is vital when hiring a contractor accountant.

Listen to those who know

Lastly, take the time to listen closely to those who you know who have taken on a contractor accountant before. Few things in life can be quite as useful as a word of mouth appraisal, giving you a full understanding of what the business stands for. That being said, make sure that the recommendation is suitable for your business.

If someone recommends a contractor accountant, make sure they come ticking all of the above boxes beforehand. If they do, and they come recommended, they are worth considering.

Need a specialist contractor accountant?

If you feel like all of the above sounds like the kind of contractor accountant you need, we recommend you contact our team at Devonshire Green. We’re professional experts in contractor accountancy, as well as other key services which could make your life easier as a professional.

So, contact us today if you need help and assistance in making the right calls. With our knowledge of what quality contractor accountants should produce, you can trust our judgement. Let us show you what kind of adjustments you could make to improve business practice and performance in various ways.

Nick Bagga