The freelance sector is making a big comeback, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has announced this week. IPSE are the UK’s only not-for-profit membership organisation for the self-employed community, protecting, connecting and campaigning for members who are self-employed.

New research from IPSE has found that 39% of Brits have considered freelancing. This is extremely positive news for the sector, which has seen a dramatic fall in workers since 2019. This is despite the significant impact of IR35 reform and amid calls for increased government support to protect a sector of the labour market worth an estimated £303bn to the UK economy, according to IPSE.

What the survey found

A third of employees (33%) believe that they could make more money as self-employed workers.

For 49%, flexibility is the main factor driving their interest in freelancing. An improved work-life balance is a factor for 48% and 48% want to be their own boss.

Almost three-quarters of UK workers (72%) are of the view that the self-employed – including freelancers and contractors – make a fairly or very positive contribution to the UK economy and society.

‘Freelancing is back!’

For an 11 year period there was continuous growth in the number of people freelancing and becoming self-employed. However, in 2019 the number of self-employed workers fell dramatically, decreasing by a huge 800,000 people.

Many were worried that this trend would continue and the number would continue to fall after the pandemic. However, it has had the opposite effect and significantly impacted the freelancing landscape.

During the various covid lockdowns many people had the time to be able to reignite old passions and hobbies. They also took time out to reflect and reassess their current situation and work-life balance. Subsequently it seems that many people have decided to take the plunge and go freelance.

Working from home instead of the office also gave those in full-time employment a taste of increased flexibility and a better work-life balance, which they want to continue to enjoy. Not to mention the end of the dreaded daily commute!

A significant number of people have therefore left their full-time job behind and opted for the dynamism, freedom and creativity of self-employment.

Greater support is needed for self-employed workers

With interest in freelancing currently very high and numbers on the rise, industry experts have called for more government support for freelancers and contractors. This is mainly to help them navigate the challenges presented by the cost-of-living crisis and that their tax affairs are in order to help ensure IR35 compliance.

The Public Accounts Committee, which recently published the findings of its review of IR35 reform, highlighted “fundamental problems” with the rules.

IPSE’s research bears this out, with 22% of respondents identifying the complexity of the tax system as a reason that they would not consider freelancing. This is just one of many areas where Gorilla Accounting can help the self-employed.

How Gorilla Accounting can help you navigate the challenges of being self-employed

As a freelancer it’s likely, and totally understandable, that you will have little to no accounting experience. Keeping on top of your finances can therefore be an extremely daunting and challenging endeavour. It can also be a huge drain on your time. And time is a commodity that can often be in short supply!

The amount of legislation and regulations relating to tax and accounting only increases over time, not to mention increasing complexity with compliance. It’s never been more important that your accounts are accurate and up-to-date and that your tax affairs are in order, and it’s also never been more difficult. The last thing you need is to fall foul of HMRC.

At Gorilla Accounting, we offer an all-inclusive jargon-free solution to your accounting needs. We integrate all of your accounting onto a single cloud-based platform which, in conjunction with your own dedicated accountant, ensures that your business finances, tax returns and everything else in between are in good health.

Here are just some of the many ways that Gorilla Accounting can help you.

Your Accounts Done Right

No matter what sector you freelance in, you are the expert in your field, we’re the experts in ours. This means that we will do your accounts right, from forecasting to statement preparation and submission to tax planning and much more.

The tax landscape is constantly shifting with frequent changes to legislation, regulation and compliance requirements. The introduction of IR35 and MTD have added extra complexity. We are always up-to-date with these changes to ensure that you are fully compliant so there’s no need to worry about fines or penalties from HMRC.

We Help You Grow Your Business

It’s a common misunderstanding that the work of a contractor accountant is limited to just number-crunching and tax matters. As well as managing the usual accounting tasks, we also give valuable advice with regard to growing and developing your business.

As experienced contractor accountants for freelancers, we understand the sector you work in, the challenges that you can face, and how to manage and overcome them. To be successful in your sector and grow your business, you must make sound management and financial decisions based on current and accurate data.

We will highlight opportunities to your business, and we will also highlight threats. This allows you to effectively manage risk and address financial issues that might restrict and inhibit growth. This strategic guidance can be measured by setting goals and monitoring cash flow to test the impact of the decisions made in relation to growth.

Although your personal accountant will work closely with you throughout your time with us, as an ‘outsider’ they can be more objective when assessing the financial condition of your business. They don’t have the emotional attachment that can influence their decision making.

Your success reflects our success and we want nothing more than to see our clients flourish.

We Save You Time and Money

As a freelancer it’s likely that you will charge your clients by the hour. Time is money and the more hours you can work, the more income you can generate. The last thing you want to be doing, therefore, is wrestling with your accounts instead of focusing on your day to day, or negatively impacting your work-life balance by attempting accounting tasks out of hours.

Put simply, Gorilla’s all-inclusive service means that we do all the hard work on your behalf. We will save you time and money. Not to mention a lot less stress!

All Gorilla Accounting clients receive full access to FreeAgent as part of our great value fixed-fee all-inclusive package at no extra cost. The time savings provided by this market-leading software are huge, both for you and for us.

FreeAgent’s automation means that once onerous tasks are completed automatically in the background whilst you work.

We understand that freelancers do things their way but it’s better to let the experts manage your accounting and tax affairs. If you already have an accountant, it’s a good idea to assess your working relationship regularly, and if you’re not 100% happy, it’s time to switch to an accountant better suited to you and your business.

If you’d like to find out more, please reach out to a member of our expert team by calling 0330 107 9670 or request a call back at your convenience. They will be happy to discuss your needs and answer and queries that you have.