What makes a good accountant?
Long gone are the days where your local high street accountant was your only option. These days, a quick online search conjures up a list of thousands of potential accountants; meaning that choosing an accountant as a contractor, freelancer or consultant isn’t easy.
As your accounts are as unique as your business is, there’s no one-size-fits-all guide to ensuring you make the right decision for you, but we wanted to put together the below to give you some guidance when it comes to choosing your accountant.
Can you meet your accountant?
If you’re happy to do everything online or over the phone then being able to meet your accountant might not be important to you. However, if you’d rather have a face to face meeting now and again, this may be an important aspect in your decision making.
Will you get your own dedicated accountant?
You’d be surprised at just how many accountancy firms there are who never actually give you a dedicated accountant – meaning you may never speak to the same person more than twice. There are also many firms these days who operate in more of a call centre type environment, rather than providing a one-to-one type service allowing you to actually speak to a human being straight away.
What is their charging structure?
Nobody should be paying their accountant based on a percentage of their invoices. We hear horror stories of some companies charging as much as 5%. This means that a contractor who is on £400 a day, working for 20 days in a month, will be paying their accountant £400 plus VAT each month. Most contractors would be much better off paying a fixed fee, SJD charges start from £120 plus VAT per month. Check our packages for more detail.
Are they experienced in providing services to contractors and freelancers?
You wouldn’t visit a neurologist if you had a bad foot. But technically, a neurologist and a podiatrist are both doctors. And the same applies with accountants. UK tax law is complicated, which is why accountants specialise in certain fields.
For example, as a contractor, it makes no sense to choose an accountancy firm which predominantly provides services to trades-people and shop owners. Although they also run their own businesses, their needs are very different to yours. Instead, choose an accountant who is a specialist contractor accountant and has been trading for several years with a well-established practice.
Finding the genuine article
Don’t waste time with companies that promise huge expense policy and dispensations, as all firms are bound by the same HM Revenue and customs regulations. These days there are no loopholes, scams, special trusts or schemes that the government doesn’t know about. If it all goes wrong, it’s you and not the company that will be left with a potentially huge tax bill - and possibly penalties for tax evasion! At the end of the day you are the only one who has anything to lose.
How SJD Accountancy can help
SJD Accountancy is one of the UK’s largest specialist contractor accountants. We’ve been around since 1992 and have won multiple accountancy and customer service awards, so you know you’re in good hands. Whether you’re a seasoned contractor with years of experience, or you’re just testing the waters in your new career path, our dedicated accountants are happy to help. Call us, we look forward to hearing from you.