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RDR
7th February 2014, 10:19
Hi,

Wanted to introduce myself and say hello. I have just started my first contract as a Test Analyst (ltd company), I've been testing now for around 8 years and decided to take the step and start contracting.

I've got a few questions, would be really grateful if someone could help me out.

1. What sort of records do I need to keep? I know I'll need to keep copies of invoices and time sheets but is there any specific template or tool anyone uses for tracking incoming/outgoing expenses etc?

2. I'm about to change my phone, is it better to get a business tariff or just stick with a personal tariff?

3. Before I get my first invoice paid am I OK to transfer personal funds into my business account?

Thanks in advance

Andy.

cojak
7th February 2014, 10:26
Welcome RDR! :wave:

You'll find a lot of answers to your questions within the CUK website.

On the right you'll find CUK Navigation. >>>>>>>>>

Look down and you'll come to the First Timers section (http://www.contractoruk.com/first_timers/). Have a read through there.

Basic expenses questions answered here: Contractor Expenses - How to claim Travel and other expenses via Limited Company or Umbrella (http://www.contractoruk.com/expenses/)

Then pay particular attention to IR35 (http://www.contractoruk.com/ir35/).

If you go into the Accounting/Legal forum you'll discover the thread Basic advice when running your own contractor business. (http://forums.contractoruk.com/accounting-legal/85729-basic-advice-when-running-your-own-contractor-business.htmll)

Guide to Contracts (http://www.contractoruk.com/contracts/) also has some good articles.

Happy reading! :)

Clare@InTouch
7th February 2014, 11:22
Hello!

1. You can use something simple like excel, something a bit more complex like Freeagent or Xero, or a bespoke system provided by your chosen accountant.

2. I would get the contract changed to the company name, that way you can claim the whole amount through the company. Get the DD to come direct from the company bank account.

3. Yes, you can loan money to the company. You can later withdraw it with no tax implications.

Read through all the guides Cojak has pointed to, you'll find lots of useful information there too.

DirtyDog
7th February 2014, 11:53
1. What sort of records do I need to keep? I know I'll need to keep copies of invoices and time sheets but is there any specific template or tool anyone uses for tracking incoming/outgoing expenses etc?
Ask your accountant what they recommend - and how they are going to do things at the end of the year. I used to enter everything in a spreadsheet for one accountant, current one uses an online portal instead where I enter the details. Every month, I have a polly pocket in a folder with receipts for company and receipts for employee, and a paper form at the front of each one which says when, who and how much was paid - it means that I can quickly find everything that I need for the company.

A friend of mine bungs everything in a shoe box and gives it to his accountant at the end of the year.


12. I'm about to change my phone, is it better to get a business tariff or just stick with a personal tariff?

Personally, I'd do a business one, since you can claim the whole lot. There are a number of discussions on the board about this, though - some people don't bother, some use a personal tariff but pretend it's from the business by putting the business name as address line 1, some buy a handset through the business and then use a personal SIM card (and not claim for the calls and line rental).

I find it easier to buy the handset through the company and then get a cheap SIM only deal (£7.50 a month) which is in the company name. Direct Debit comes out of the business account, no need to really think about it.


13. Before I get my first invoice paid am I OK to transfer personal funds into my business account?
Absolutely. You could charge the company interest on the money as well, but since that then becomes taxable income for you, it's probably not worth doing.

Make sure you keep track of when you lend the company money and when it is repaid, though.

northernladuk
7th February 2014, 12:14
First job is to get an accountant.

Jeremiah@RHJAccountants
7th February 2014, 12:28
First job is to get an accountant.

I second this comment as i would say tax planning and knowing the expenses you can claim for is what us accountants can help you with and much more.

Have your thought about things like the flat rate scheme and what salary to pay your self?

Also read the guide that Cojak has pointed you too.

Good luck with your first contract.

RDR
9th February 2014, 11:55
Thanks for all the replies, I do have an accountant set up.

Business mobile is ordered so I'm looking g forward to getting my new phone!

Thanks again for the advise, going to have a good read of the links Cojack provided.

Andy

malvolio
9th February 2014, 12:13
Thanks for all the replies, I do have an accountant set up.

Business mobile is ordered so I'm looking g forward to getting my new phone!

Thanks again for the advise, going to have a good read of the links Cojack provided.

Andy
Also, go to Home | PCG (http://www.PCG.org.uk) and download and study their guide to freelancing. And consider joining them, it'll be the best £120 you will spend as a contractor.

northernladuk
9th February 2014, 15:17
Thanks for all the replies, I do have an accountant set up.

Business mobile is ordered so I'm looking g forward to getting my new phone!

Thanks again for the adviCe, going to have a good read of the links Cojack provided.

Andy

FTFY

You did check that the extra cost of the business mobile doesn't actually outweigh the benefits? Many tariffs for business are higher than personal so could actually cost you more.

RDR
10th February 2014, 09:13
FTFY

You did check that the extra cost of the business mobile doesn't actually outweigh the benefits? Many tariffs for business are higher than personal so could actually cost you more.

I did check, the tariff is the same amount per month but the phone was free, on a personal tariff I would have had to pay for the handset.

Thanks for the heads up though.

Andy.