Finding the right contractor accountant

8th November 2017

Once you have made the decision to set up a limited company, selecting an accountant is normally the next logical step.  At this stage it would be wise to choose a specialist contractor accountant as they will be well versed in the unique issues that you face as a contractor.

Here are some tips to help you choose your accountant

  1. Ask for referrals  If you’re a contractor, you probably know a few other contractors and they will definitely have some recommendations and probably a few horror stories to give you a steer in the right direction. So much of our business is via a referral because we keep our contractors happy!
  2. Go big or go small?     A big firm will most likely have the manpower and advanced skill set to deal with all of your needs and give you access to multiple accountants to discuss your accounts anytime. A smaller firm might offer you a more personalised experience but charge a premium and have limited availability at busy times. At Walker Smith we strike a great balance between the two, we have the scale to deal with large numbers whilst still offering all of our contractors a dedicated accountant contact.
  3. Check their qualifications    It might seem like an obvious one but it’s better to be safe than sorry, so always ask for confirmation of qualifications when looking for a contractor accountant.
  4. What is included?    Be vigilant and check what is included in and excluded from the price you are quoted.  Costs can vary quite dramatically in accountancy rate cards; look more closely and you’ll see that the difference is normally to do with what is included in the package. A lot of firms will offer either a tiered pricing structure where the more you pay the more is included, whilst others may offer a bespoke package where you can specify exactly what you need. We have a number of packages available so please give us a call to discuss what might suit you best.
  5. Do they know IR35?               A thorough understanding of IR35 is a really important factor when choosing your contractor accountant, your typical high street accountant may not understand it enough to manage you as a client.
  6. Technology    Not essential but it is really helpful if your accountant has embraced modern technology and can offer you multiple ways to manage your finances. A decent contract accountant will provide access to some kind of accountancy software.
  7. Do you like them?    Again, it might seem obvious but if you don’t get on with your accountant and you don’t like their style, switch to a new one!

If you would like some advice we are more than happy to help so please give us a call on 0161 359 3235