9 tips for choosing the right contractor accountant In London

A contractor accountant can be a valuable advisor for your small businesses. They keep your books in order, help with tax planning and ensure you meet all your deadlines.  It is important to have an expert accountant, as it can help you minimize accounting fees and time.

Here are some tips to help you choose the best contractor accountant

1.     Choose a specialist over a generalist

Consider choosing a specialist accountant contractor who understands key issues. Your accountant should be able to advise you on your venture expenditure, tax registrations and legal matters. Generalist will cause problems when your business starts to scale.

2.     Hire a qualified accountant

Most firms are registered with accountancy bodies, such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA),
or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICPA). Make sure your contractor is qualified and registered with the authorities.

3.     Always negotiate the price

A fee can be a make or break for new and even experienced accountants. How is the accountant pricing you? Is it an annual charge or monthly charge? Make sure what you need from your contractor accountant and check whether it is included in the price.

4.     Find out what is not included in the service

Check what services are being offered at your price. Most contractor accounting firms along with standard tasks such as setting up a payroll, annual accounts, VAT returns, offer to do your self-assessment returns and provide references for mortgages?

5.     Choose an established firm in London

This is the crucial step, you should choose the accountancy firms that fulfill your purpose. A big firm might be experienced in dealing with contractors, providing a variety of contractor clients but they might lack at delivering a tailored service particularly for your business.

A smaller firm may succeed to deliver a more tailored service at a good price but fail to concentrate on all business needs. It totally depends on your business to whether go with either large or small firm.

6.     Check for references

Always contact several firms before choosing an accountant. Have conversations with fellow contractors to ask about their experiences with different accountancy firms. It is highly important for you to build a good knowledge database; your intuition
will be your best guide. 

7.     Investigate their IR35 Expertise and Managed Services Company (MSC) legislation

Make sure your specialist contractor accountant has the thorough understanding of all about IR35, be it related to tax planning or budgets around IR35 tax legislation.

It is recommended to consult a legal specialist to assess their IR35 status. Many accountants perform a variety of tasks which are supposed to be performed by contractors as per barred by the Managed Services Company. Therefore, you should ensure your contractor accountants only perform legitimate tasks and avoid the MSC rules.

8.     Choose a local accountant

While accounting may have gone online, you still need to keep a tab on it. Having a local accountant can help you save time in meetings and travel expenses. If you are looking for a contractoraccountant in London, there are various directories that can help too.

9.     Understand how easy it is to switch from your accountant

It is very important to examine your agreement with the accounting firm and read the contract throughout. If they make it hard for you to switch accountants, that is a red flag.