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photomile
22nd October 2011, 18:45
I 'think' this is the right place to put this.

After being offered a last minute contract (Read, offered on Friday, start on Monday) so I've had a baptism into the consulting world, and I've been referred to an umbrella company, called Nasa Consultancy.

A quick search on here, and I can't see anything for them, but I'm wondering if anyone has used them, has any feedback or helpful advice at all?

There are certainly some unanswered questions which I'll need to call them about, but if anyone can tell me anything, it would be greatly appreciated!

Sockpuppet
22nd October 2011, 19:12
If you've never heard of them and you're a new contractor I'd avoid. Go with the big boys Parasol / Contractor Umbrella etc. Why worry when you'll be getting the same from a good name, if they promise you any more than the above can offer they're lying.

photomile
22nd October 2011, 19:14
I would normally agree except I'm completely new to this, so I've no idea what's normal and what isn't.

It was unfortunate that it was a very last minute deal. I had about two hours before close of play to get as much information as I could and make a decision! I think once this contract is done I may very well leave Nasa and go with Parasol instead. It seems people tend to understand this one a bit more.

I take it I can't change mid contract either (I certainly don't like that idea)

Sockpuppet
22nd October 2011, 19:33
You can change mid contract. Just tell the agy to do a contract with your new umbrella.

photomile
22nd October 2011, 19:57
That's really helpful to know thanks!

From what I'm reading, Nasa doesn't look too bad, although they certainly seem new! But if the worst comes to the worst, I'll switch!

NasaConsulting
24th October 2011, 08:51
Hi

I saw this thread and thought I'd just chime in with a few thoughts. We've been going since March 2006, and currently payroll about 1200 contractors a week. So are (I like to think) reasonably well established.

In terms of one of the posters mentioning 'just go with the big boys', one reason not to is we charge a tenner a week, whilst the two august organisations mentioned above charge around £25 a week. In terms of customer service I feel we punch well above our weight for the price we charge and show that cheap doesn't mean poor service.

But ultimately beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So I will leave to other contractors to judge!

photomile
24th October 2011, 08:55
Hi

I saw this thread and thought I'd just chime in with a few thoughts. We've been going since March 2006, and currently payroll about 1200 contractors a week. So are (I like to think) reasonably well established.

In terms of one of the posters mentioning 'just go with the big boys', one reason not to is we charge a tenner a week, whilst the two august organisations mentioned above charge around £25 a week. In terms of customer service I feel we punch well above our weight for the price we charge and show that cheap doesn't mean poor service.

But ultimately beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So I will leave to other contractors to judge!

Fair point! The fact you took the time to drop a message says good things in my eyes.

Now I've had a little more than 30 minutes to research everything, I feel pretty pleased with choosing Nasa even if it was a slightly panicked last minute decision (one which, lets be honest if you had to do a last minute decision, you might be worried about it too), I'll give honest feedback once the first payroll has gone through but I'm feeling pretty confident about it and hopefully many more contracts in the future!

manclarky
24th October 2011, 11:58
Hi

1200 contractors a week.

we charge a tenner a week


£12,000 a week! Plan B

:cool:

v8gaz
24th October 2011, 13:26
£12,000 a week! Plan B

:cool:

Minus running costs, and your exposure to clients payment delays. If it sounds too good to be true etc.

manclarky
24th October 2011, 13:53
Minus running costs, and your exposure to clients payment delays. If it sounds too good to be true etc.

Running costs, agreed, but £500,000 is a lot of running costs.

Clients payments delays aren't your problem though. I worked through an umbrella company for about 3 months once, and they only paid you once they'd got the money in from the end client / agency - so no risk there.

lonewanderer
18th November 2011, 19:16
I have found NASA consulting to be completely inefficient.

They dont reply to your queries, they dont pay you on time, they dont send your payslip when they pay you and the customer service element is shocking. I highly recommend you dont go with them.

In addition, although they say they are £10 a week and cheapeer than other companies they exploit a loophole meaning that they are actually charging you way more national insurance than you should be paying so they are in fact more expensive.

Dont do it!

Wary
21st November 2011, 06:47
I have found NASA consulting to be completely inefficient.

They dont reply to your queries, they dont pay you on time, they dont send your payslip when they pay you and the customer service element is shocking. I highly recommend you dont go with them.

In addition, although they say they are £10 a week and cheapeer than other companies they exploit a loophole meaning that they are actually charging you way more national insurance than you should be paying so they are in fact more expensive.

Dont do it!

Lonewanderer - I've just signed up with Nasa and so would like to know more about your comments, in particular about the excessive NI. Please can you elaborate?

I'm reserving judgement until I start to get paid. However, here's my opinion so far ... I primarily went with them because of:
- their flexibility with payments into my personal pension
- low fee
- rated highly on sites
There's a few other bits I liked about them too. On the downside:
- they were initially slow to respond to queries, send me stuff or get back to me when they promised, and to action things; however, a word from me to that effect and it did greatly improve
- their standard contract between you & them has various issues which hopefully they'll now resolve following my feedback

Photomile - you promised to give some feedback once you'd properly got going with them. How's it going so far?

lonewanderer
21st November 2011, 08:49
Ive been told by another company that these so called £10 per week companies that still allow their contractors to claim expenses are actually operating through a “ additional Required cost “ scheme where they apply National Insurance to all of your earnings not taking into account the lower earnings threshold.

This to you actually means that you are paying more Employers NI than you should be. When they pay the Employers NI that they have accumulated to the HMRC your additional amount that you have ‘over’ paid stays with the company. Which all means that you pay the fee of £10 per week to the company and they get the additional Employers NI bringing it all into line with the £25 weekly companies. It may appear to be cheaper but it isn’t.

NasaConsulting
21st November 2011, 09:13
Lonewanderer,

I have come across your post this morning and I thought it best to ask you to contact me directly, either by PM or to my email address, alex@nasaconsulting.com so we can discuss your issues.

I would like the opportunity to investigate your claims and rectify where necessary. Although we are low cost we aim to always pay the same day we receive funds, we only charge the fee advertised and your payslip should always be sent out. I am also concerned to hear you feel the customer service to be below what you expect. Again, I would grateful if you can inform me of the exact nature of your issues as we have minimum service standards that we must adhere to.

In relation to your point about an extra fee disguised as National Insurance, this is not the case. I believe you are referring to Employers National Insurance which is a deduction all contractors utilising an Umbrella Company pay. This will have been communicated to you prior to signing up to the service. I will be happy to discuss this point further as well.

I hope to hear from you shortly.

LisaContractorUmbrella
21st November 2011, 09:23
Ive been told by another company that these so called £10 per week companies that still allow their contractors to claim expenses are actually operating through a “ additional Required cost “ scheme where they apply National Insurance to all of your earnings not taking into account the lower earnings threshold.

This to you actually means that you are paying more Employers NI than you should be. When they pay the Employers NI that they have accumulated to the HMRC your additional amount that you have ‘over’ paid stays with the company. Which all means that you pay the fee of £10 per week to the company and they get the additional Employers NI bringing it all into line with the £25 weekly companies. It may appear to be cheaper but it isn’t.

All the tax and NI contributions that are made should be shown clearly on your payslip - there are a number of umbrella company calculators (we have one on our site) which should demonstrate whether or not the amounts deducted by Nasa are comparable

Churchill
21st November 2011, 09:29
Running costs, agreed, but £500,000 is a lot of running costs.

Clients payments delays aren't your problem though. I worked through an umbrella company for about 3 months once, and they only paid you once they'd got the money in from the end client / agency - so no risk there.

Perhaps you'd like to explain the "no risk" aspect to a certain "Solomon Williams", he managed to screw up one of his umbrella companies and in the process left people thousands of pounds out of pocket!

Evidence supplied on request.

malvolio
21st November 2011, 09:29
You have to womder though - same legal requirements, same tax regime, same processes, same business risks, same factoring and operating costs, 60% lower charges...

Clearly the rest of the umbrella market is over-charging :wink

Wary
21st November 2011, 09:36
Ive been told by another company that these so called £10 per week companies that still allow their contractors to claim expenses are actually operating through a “ additional Required cost “ scheme where they apply National Insurance to all of your earnings not taking into account the lower earnings threshold.

This to you actually means that you are paying more Employers NI than you should be. When they pay the Employers NI that they have accumulated to the HMRC your additional amount that you have ‘over’ paid stays with the company. Which all means that you pay the fee of £10 per week to the company and they get the additional Employers NI bringing it all into line with the £25 weekly companies. It may appear to be cheaper but it isn’t.

Lonewanderer – you should really have verified this for yourself rather than taking what a rival says as gospel. Certainly I’ll scrutinise my payslips to ensure that everything is kosher and that all deductions are correct, and I believe that there are online calculators to assist with this.

Let me know how you get on with Alex, and whether he manages to convince you that they way they operate is all above board.

LisaContractorUmbrella
21st November 2011, 10:42
Perhaps you'd like to explain the "no risk" aspect to a certain "Solomon Williams", he managed to screw up one of his umbrella companies and in the process left people thousands of pounds out of pocket!

Evidence supplied on request.

I think he was saying that the umbrella company has no risk (obviously not true) - just thought I'd clarify

lonewanderer
22nd November 2011, 20:58
I appreciate the offer Alex but I have no desire to speak to you as Im finished with NASA due to the shoddy customer service.

Earlier this year, when there was problems with my pay week in week out and I was livid after spending a few weekends without any money, I would have jumped at the chance. I just wanted to chip in on this thread about my experiences with NASA.

Malvolio - I think you might have hit the nail on the head there!

Wary
29th November 2011, 04:45
I've received my first payslip from Nasa & everything checks out OK.

I can only speak for my case, and certainly there's no question of them inflating the employers NI as has been the accusation, or indeed of withholding money as has been the accusation against at least one other umbrella on these forums.

Too early to say that my first month has been a 100% success as I've not yet seen how they get on with processing my pension payment. But there were no issues of great significance with the payslip and they were quick to provide the clarifications requested.:yay:

Crazydiamond
20th September 2013, 20:33
Fair point! The fact you took the time to drop a message says good things in my eyes.

Now I've had a little more than 30 minutes to research everything, I feel pretty pleased with choosing Nasa even if it was a slightly panicked last minute decision (one which, lets be honest if you had to do a last minute decision, you might be worried about it too), I'll give honest feedback once the first payroll has gone through but I'm feeling pretty confident about it and hopefully many more contracts in the future!

I have used Nasa Umbrella since February 2013 at first sight they appear to be good the sales team is excellent.

I realised that the payslips did not have the YTD Tax and NI figures or how much you have earned in employment. When I asked them why this is they answered " oh it's a known issue we are working on resolving it " more than a month later I continue to receive payslips without the Year to date figures (YTD) granted all the pay calculations appear to be correct but having the YTD figure on your payslips is a must.

They keep fobbing me off saying we'll solve it but never do the other annoying thing is that they send you the payslip at 5.30pm on a Friday afternoon after their office shuts so if you have a query you'll just have to wait till after the weekend.

They are cheap at £12 which is what they keep telling me ( suppose that what they are saying is that at £12/week what do you expect)

Anyway I would not recommend them and you should pay that little extra for a quality service

6/10

Best of Luck

curious
14th October 2014, 14:46
I have asked this umbrella company for a quotation, which I received, but as soon as I ask for clarification they do not respond. They make the impression that they do not want people to register with them.... I was just about to do so, but they put me off.... Anyone has any RECENT experience with this company at all? I would appreciate any feedback please ASAP. Thanks in advance!

LisaContractorUmbrella
15th October 2014, 07:29
I have asked this umbrella company for a quotation, which I received, but as soon as I ask for clarification they do not respond. They make the impression that they do not want people to register with them.... I was just about to do so, but they put me off.... Anyone has any RECENT experience with this company at all? I would appreciate any feedback please ASAP. Thanks in advance!

What were you asking for clarification on exactly?

James Watson
15th October 2014, 08:37
I have asked this umbrella company for a quotation, which I received, but as soon as I ask for clarification they do not respond. They make the impression that they do not want people to register with them.... I was just about to do so, but they put me off.... Anyone has any RECENT experience with this company at all? I would appreciate any feedback please ASAP. Thanks in advance!

Hi there

Would you be able to email myself directly with what your query is and I will respond asap.

my email address is james.watsonatnasaconsulting.com and my number is 0117 929 7683

Many thanks

James

curious
15th October 2014, 12:29
What were you asking for clarification on exactly?

As I have got their quotation I was checking on the calculations as I did with others and first of all I was asking about their tax deductions as according to my calculation it should have come down to a few pounds in minus, but their illustration showed zero. So I wanted to know how was it calculated as I used HMRC's threshold to my own calculation. Secondly I wanted to see an illustration with my current tax to date and total payment to date figures involved, but they said they would not be able to do it until I am registered and my account is up and running with them... However I still cannot see why they cannot put those figures into the calculations - after all from my point of view all they need is a calculator for that. Am I not right?

Other than that the sales manager quoted a slightly different admin fee per month, which confused me....So I wanted to clarify if there were hidden fees or not involved.

curious
15th October 2014, 12:31
Hi there

Would you be able to email myself directly with what your query is and I will respond asap.

my email address is james.watsonatnasaconsulting.com and my number is 0117 929 7683

Many thanks

James


Thanks, I will do and update you further.

LisaContractorUmbrella
15th October 2014, 12:44
As I have got their quotation I was checking on the calculations as I did with others and first of all I was asking about their tax deductions as according to my calculation it should have come down to a few pounds in minus, but their illustration showed zero. So I wanted to know how was it calculated as I used HMRC's threshold to my own calculation. Secondly I wanted to see an illustration with my current tax to date and total payment to date figures involved, but they said they would not be able to do it until I am registered and my account is up and running with them... However I still cannot see why they cannot put those figures into the calculations - after all from my point of view all they need is a calculator for that. Am I not right?

Other than that the sales manager quoted a slightly different admin fee per month, which confused me....So I wanted to clarify if there were hidden fees or not involved.

To be fair PAYE is a little more complicated than putting figures into a calculator :smile In order to be able to give an accurate calculation you would need P45 figures which would show tax paid to date, your current tax code, whether or not you were being taxed on a week one basis, whether or not you have student loans which need to be taken into consideration and what pay week funds were actually being processed in if you were on a cumulative code. If you were on a cumulative tax code then any gaps in payment make a difference to the tax that you will be liable to pay.

curious
15th October 2014, 14:48
To be fair PAYE is a little more complicated than putting figures into a calculator :smile In order to be able to give an accurate calculation you would need P45 figures which would show tax paid to date, your current tax code, whether or not you were being taxed on a week one basis, whether or not you have student loans which need to be taken into consideration and what pay week funds were actually being processed in if you were on a cumulative code. If you were on a cumulative tax code then any gaps in payment make a difference to the tax that you will be liable to pay.

Thanks for your response. I appreciate what you are saying, but I have provided them with those figures you have mentioned in order to carry out their calculation....Nevertheless, see how it goes....

LisaContractorUmbrella
16th October 2014, 06:32
Thanks for your response. I appreciate what you are saying, but I have provided them with those figures you have mentioned in order to carry out their calculation....Nevertheless, see how it goes....

Oh ok well in that case you should be able to get the figures you're after and a breakdown of same - good luck :smile

Yonmons
1st September 2015, 08:06
I know this is an old thread now but just to add my comments I used NASA for 3 month at the start of the year and had no issue with them I was happy with their service, I would still be with them now on another contract but the Agency does not have them on their "Approved list" (whats all that about anyway ?) I am now with Paystream (touch wood ) no problems with them so far 10 weeks in. So you pays your money !

Rolex44
1st October 2015, 11:32
Hi

I saw this thread and thought I'd just chime in with a few thoughts. We've been going since March 2006, and currently payroll about 1200 contractors a week. So are (I like to think) reasonably well established.

In terms of one of the posters mentioning 'just go with the big boys', one reason not to is we charge a tenner a week, whilst the two august organisations mentioned above charge around £25 a week. In terms of customer service I feel we punch well above our weight for the price we charge and show that cheap doesn't mean poor service.

But ultimately beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So I will leave to other contractors to judge!

I signed with them 6 months ago and they are better than most others I have used during the last 15 years. No trouble getting intouch with them, although I'm not fond of their online mileage and expenses claims form. They seem to be the cheapest on charges.

P45
21st November 2015, 23:47
NASA was recently suggested to me as my usual umbrella was not on the agency approved list. I have never come across such a finicky umbrella.

I formed the impression that their payroll department "looked for ways" to reject expenses. It became so frustrating that after the second week and being expected to submit my expense claim for the third time, I informed my agency I wanted a move to my preferred umbrella which co-incidentally was now on their approved list.

They can state they have HMRC requirements to adhere to etc etc, but to reject a £20 petrol expense claim because a £2 lottery ticket and a £1 bar of chocolate were listed on the same receipt, the reason given was "the VAT for each item was not shown". Silly me the actual receipt had a total VAT amount, surely it is not that difficult to calculate what 20% of £20 is, perhaps they are too busy answering calls from candidates that they haven't got time to even use a VAT google calculator. After a wasted phone call, they relented let that one go through, I hope the HMRC don't hunt me down for spending a spending a few extra quid while filing up?

Subsistence rejected due to not listing departure and arrive home times, fair enough I suppose, but I was only claiming the bare minimum for a 7.5hr day as reflective on my timesheet.

Following week mileage again rejected because no home or work post codes were listed, even though they know my home address and place of work. I assumed it is on-file as they asked me for the info when signing up, plus it was on my prior mileage claim. Okay fair enough, I must remember to list relevant post codes even though they don't change every day.

Resubmit, again rejected due to attached petrol receipt being dated after date of expense claim. I can only assume HRMC make no allowance for anybody that may fill the tank prior to starting a new contract?

In the end it seems like an up hill battle and to think I was paying them for all this hoop jumping. When I get home, I want to wind down relax, not have to re-submit expense claims three times, make phone calls to somebody who can't separate and calculate 20% of £20. Sure I could have RTFM they kept sending me with every rejection, something I don't even resort to in my profession unless it's a last resort.

I've been contracting for the last 8 years, a bit long in the tooth and certainly wasn't prepared to pay for the privilege of, as I felt, 'being messed around'. I'd had enough of that with another big umbrella company based in Warrington whose pay slips might as well have been written in hieroglyphics for the sense they made.

Sure like a good obedient contractor I would have "got weekly expense claims" spot on eventually, but not wanting to switch in the first place (since learnt agencies can't dictate who you can or can't go with, despite their approval lists), the constant hassle exacerbated the situation. I don't mind paying £10 per week extra to avoid the pettiness, which they of course they blamed on the HRMC.

Oh, nearly forgot, first week I never got paid, received mid-week txt from agency funds sent to company, NASA claimed they never received anything. Who was right and who was wrong, I don't know, ended up getting paid few days late, overall experience "utter frustration". :mad: