When launching and running a limited company, specialist accountants for contractors are recommended for support.
In fact, very few contractors attempt to manage everything themselves and rely on a specialist accounting firm as an efficient way to maximise their time and ensure financial peace of mind.
A specialist accountant within the contracting business will be fully aware of the laws that are specific to that market sector and will have superior knowledge regarding more complex areas within the industry, such as IR35.
For a fixed fee, most specialist accountants offer a package which encompasses preparation of accounts, payroll management, corporation tax return and legal affairs. The services these packages include vary between accountancy firms. Most professional firms will allocate you to a dedicated contractor accountant, as a single point of contact to ensure consistency of service throughout the life-cycle of your business.
The role of a limited company accountant is generally complex and varies depending on the different stages of company development. To clarify the services provided by a limited company accountant, see here for a breakdown of the all-inclusive package offered by Gorilla Accounting.
During the start-up of a limited company:
Accounting services provided by a limited company accountant are important when setting up your business. These may include:
- Tax registration of the company to pay VAT, Corporation Tax and PAYE
- Opening a business bank account and establishing an online accounting system to help keep track of transactions, expenses and financial activity. Most reputable firms offer a bespoke cloud-based system or utilise independent online platforms
- Registration with Companies House incorporation
Key tasks of a limited company accountant:
Once your limited business has been established, a contractor accountant can assist with the day-to-day running of the following:
- General accounting services and advice
- Business banking, such as managing your payroll and submission of this data to HMRC
- Correspondence with HMRC, including responding to any tax-related changes or queries
- Management of Companies House and submission of the required paperwork
- Completion of annual accounts and any tax-related paperwork
Additional services which may be provided by a contractor accountant:
Aside from the core tasks completed by a contractor accountant, they may also provide the following add-on services:
- Completion of personal self-assessment tax returns
- Developing and management of an online accounting system
- Providing references for mortgages and letting agencies to enable contractors to lease property. This is often a challenge for contractors lacking support
- Depending on the nature of your business, a limited company accountant may advice you on the IR35 status and implement IR35 contract reviews
- Registration as your office address meaning that the paperwork corresponding to the business is directed to the contractor accountant
- Further financial advice from alternative internal resources or partner firms to ensure you receive comprehensive guidance on other matters, such as mortgages or pension schemes
- Assistance with switching service to other contractor accountant firms. This is sometimes necessary when the business begins to grow, resulting in increased earnings, requiring more tax planning, or even hiring employees to become a small business. Many firms offer packages to accommodate for this, so that you can avoid switching to a different accountancy provider
Overall, the support provided by a contracting accountant may prove instrumental to managing the profitability of the business. After all, time is money in all matters of business. Therefore, the time saved by hiring a specialist accountant instead of attempting to manage the business accounts alone, may prove critical to the success of the company.
If you would like to discuss your options with Gorilla Accounting, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org call 0330 024 0406.