23% more jobs for IT contractors in finance sector during March
According to the latest figures from Powerchex, a company which provides pre-employment screening services for the finance sector, in March of this year IT contractors who work in the financial services industry experienced a 23% increase in roles being offered, and accepted, over February. Powerchex also said that, in the financial services sector as a whole, the number of confirmed job offers increased by 16% in March. The biggest gains were found in Investment Banking, with 82% more job offers made last month compared to February. Stockbroker firms and Investment Management firms also considerably increase their recruitment levels, up 73% and 56% respectively. Commenting on these findings, Managing Director Alexandra Kelly said, “This is the second consecutive month that we have seen an increase in recruitment levels within Financial Services and this is especially good news for jobseekers. I am also cautiously hopeful that the market for IT contractors within FS is improving.”
With contractor opportunities on the up and up, now could be a great time to think about switching from permanent to contracting. The following example of what happened to one of our clients, and how we helped him out, might help you decide to take the plunge!
James is an IT contractor who moved from a full time position with a large plc. In his previous permanent role he got a safe and reliable monthly salary and a plethora of employee benefits – pension, life assurance, mobile telephone, 25 days ‘paid’ holiday (which he rarely got a chance to take) and of course Christmas parties! However, the position also came with a fair sized helping of office politics, a huge blame culture, poor promotion opportunities, very little job satisfaction and a manager who worried more about his profile than actually completing a project or looking after the welfare of his staff. Plus what he didn’t get was the thrill and satisfaction of being his own boss or making decisions about which projects to take on – as well as actually having the opportunity to earn more as a contractor.
Having decided to set up his own limited company rather that use an umbrella firm, James came to SDJ for advice. Initially, he had lots of questions about exactly how he was going to work through his own limited company. SJD’s New Client Helpdesk answered all of his questions over the phone, via email and even met with him in an office near to where he worked, all free of charge. We then helped him to form a company and provided advice regarding share allocation, directors, company secretaries and use of a registered office.
James also needed to open a business bank account, which we also helped him with, as well as providing information about VAT and helping him understand if the Flat Rate VAT Scheme would be the best way forward. The company formation details, business bank account application and VAT registration documents were mailed first class that same night. The only thing left was for James to do was to visit our site and click the ‘become a client’ button on our home page, completing these details only took a minute.
An accountant from SJD, in this instance – Ryan Dempsey, then contacted James and ran through a few more details. Although he lived outside London, James wanted his accountant to be based inside London near to where he was about to start contracting and most likely where future contracts would also be based – and as SJD has offices in all major cities, this wasn’t a problem. James could then see Ryan at lunchtimes if necessary, thereby keeping downtime to a minimum. Meetings with SJD accountants are free of charge and email or telephone contact is unlimited. SJD’s fee is £105 plus VAT per month and is an all inclusive fixed fee service.
James was asked to keep a track of his incomings and outgoings, just as any limited company would do, and record the information on a spreadsheet provided by his accountant. This information was then used to help him understand how much to take in the form of salary and how much as a dividend. James raised his own invoices every week and received payment directly into his company bank account, and was responsible for moving money from his business bank account into his personal account every month. His SJD Accountant was always on hand to provide professional tax advice, help with corporation tax calculations, VAT and Revenue returns, payroll, companies house issues and compile James’s year-end accounts. From time to time James would have to send a cheque to HM Revenue and Customs and sign a few documents, but after a while these became a matter of course and didn’t take up too much of his time.
James is earning more than he was before as a permanent member of staff, yes he misses some of the fringe benefits but is far more in control of his destiny. In fact he is now thinking of expanding the reach of his company and moving more into the consultancy market – he also has his own website which is attracting interest from prospective clients. Commenting on becoming a contractor and also on working with SJD, he told us, “For me it has been the best decision I’ve taken in years. It would now be almost impossible for me to go back to work in the world of the permanent employee, whatever that really means – after all, most people are only on four to 12 weeks notice, so it’s not really that permanent after all!
As for working with SJD, I can’t compliment them highly enough, from my initial questions with Michelle in the New Client Team to my Accountant Ryan. They made what initially seemed like a long and complicated process into something that was easy for me to understand and make sense of. I received a calendar of the important dates along with text reminders and telephone calls just so I wouldn’t miss anything, they even do my personal tax return as part of the monthly fee”.
If you have any queries or would like further advice please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01442 275789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.