Contractor Accountants in London
Contractor accountants in London are a lifeline to help you manage the large amounts of administration required when you run a limited company. They will keep your tax affairs in order, and they can advise you on legislation such as IR35 which could affect your business.
London is the biggest hub of contracting in the UK and demand for IT contractors is high given the skills shortages in the city. The financial sector also dominates as many of the world’s leading banks and financial institutions have large offices in London.
Many of the banks and financial institutions are based in the City of London or Canary Wharf. Other popular places for contractors in London are tech city or Silicon Roundabout near Old Street. Plus there is significant investment in infrastructure in Kings Cross and companies like Google are building a new HQ there.
The typical market rates for contractors in London vary depending on your skill set, but an IT contractor can expect to command a day rate of between £450 and £500. However, a head of IT security contractor role could pay a day rate of £1,000 and emerging IT contracting skills, such as Blockchain and Slack, could earn well over £500 per day.
The largest increases in self employment have been in London with self employment rising from a share of 13% to 17.4% across the entire labour force – an increase of 4.4 percentage points, according to a recent report from the Office of National Statistics.
There are pros and cons to contracting in London. While the high cost of living and congestion can put off some workers, London also offers higher rates of pay compared to the rest of the UK, a wide range of opportunities for contractors, an excellent public transport system and a lively social scene.
With such a vibrant contractor market, demand for contractor accountants in London is particularly high. However, when you’re choosing between the range of contractor accountants in London, you may first want to consider whether you need a city-based accountant at all.
Contractor accountants London: Do you need an accountant in the city?
You may not necessarily need to work with contractor accountants in London. It depends how you prefer to operate and the level of service you require from your contractor accountant, but you may not need to have face-to-face meetings with your accountant. Many contractors never require to meet their accountant but instead hire one that is the best fit for them.
Here’s a checklist when evaluating different contractor accountants London or non-London based:
- Hire a specialist: you must hire a specialist contractor accountant who understands how your business operates and the nuances of the contractor industry, such as IR35.
- Check their qualifications: you must check that your contractor accountant is qualified. If they are, then the following initials are usually shown on their website or after their name: ACA, ACCA (for England and Wales) or ACAS (for Scotland).
- Look at the price and service offered: most contractor accountants charge a monthly fee for their services. Don’t be fooled by a seemingly good deal, but make sure you get the level of service you need for your business. Different contractor accountants will perform different duties.
- Ask about set up fees: if you need to form a limited company, ask if your contractor accountant will charge an additional fee for this.
- Ask for references and client lists: ask any contractor accountants if they have client references or a breakdown of the industries their clients work in. Again, it’s important to select an accountant with ample experience of the contractor market. Also, ask how long they have been in business to double check how established they are in the market.
- Accounting software: do you require your accountant to work with a specific type of accounting software? Is the price of software included in their accounting package or not? These are questions you will need to ask when looking for the right contractor accountant for you.
Contractor accountants London: The pros and cons
There are pros and cons to choosing a contractor accountant in London. These include:
Convenience and your relationship
If you choose an accountant who you can easily visit, you will be able to build a personal relationship with that accountant. It depends on how you want to work with your accountant.
Many contractor accountants offer an online portal to manage your financial affairs and a dedicated accountant to answer your queries. This can help you to remotely work with your contractor accountant. However, it depends whether you’re happier to discuss your business face-to-face or over the phone or email.
The fees of contractor accountants vary dramatically, depending on the level of service they offer - and their location. Contractor accountants in London may charge more for their services, but make sure you compare the services offered carefully to get the best deal.
If you’re struggling to choose between contractor accountants in London, then try reaching out to the contractor community and ask for personal recommendations. The ContractorUK forum is a good place to start and you could also use review sites, or speak to other contractors at your workplace.
It is advised to get a quote and list of services from a few different contractor accountants so that you can compare them. You can find a list of contractor accountants in the ContractorUK Directory.