10 Recent Blog Posts https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/ Shows a list of the 10 most recent blog posts. Online accountants for contractors – Is this for you? https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/online-accountants-for-contractors-is-this-for-you- <p><strong>If you think back to how your life used to be before the days of mobile phones and smartphones, you may realise </strong><strong>how advanced life is now.</strong></p><p>The number of people that visit the local branch of their bank is also getting smaller by the day as we can now perform 99% of our banking through our phones, laptops or tablets. New technology has made it easy and quick to manage our finances which is exactly the same as it should be with online accountants for contractors.</p><p>We are used to doing everything on the internet or via apps that it almost seems alien to have to do anything else. You can now run your business or your household through your phone, PC or tablet, so why should your accountant be any different? When dealing with a typical high street accountant, you will often be dealing with someone over the phone or having to wait for appointments to see a representative.  </p><p>Modern versions of online accountants for contractors will allow you to run your business finances in the same way that you do for everything else in your life. Time is precious for any business and especially for small contractor businesses where they could lose money for any time spent on non-essential work activities. An online accountant for contractors will enable you to access your finances 24/7 so that you know exactly what is happening any time of day or night. </p><h2>Software packages giving you access to your online accountant</h2><p>There are a whole host of cutting edge technology-based accountancy software packages which will provide you with all of the information you need at the touch of a button. Your online accountants for contractors will offer you access to your own portal which should run your day to day business finances for you in the same way that your bank or building society will for your normal finances.</p><p>It is incredible to think that almost all of us will have access to a smart phone, tablet or PC which is all you need to run your business finances more efficiently. The days of having to submit your accounts paper-based are long gone. There is also a strong misconception that using technology-based solutions for running your accounts is expensive and can be troublesome which could not be further from the truth. </p><p>Most of the systems that are used by online accountants for contractors are proven to be highly effective and efficient so you should experience no issues with reliability. You should also find that the vast majority of online accountants for contractors will include something within their standard package or may have a small fee attached, which gives you access to your own portal to manage your own business finances instantly. </p><h2>Remove the time-consuming aspects of accountancy</h2><p>Some of the most frustrating and time-consuming aspects of running your own business is dealing with your accountant and managing risks. If you could have access to your own business finances 24/7 then that would remove one of the biggest issues of wasted time in running your own business.</p><p>At Gorilla Accounting, we provide a blend of traditional accountancy and the added benefits of an online accountant. We will give you 24/7 access to your accounts and your own dedicated accountant will be accessible through email, Skype, over the phone and even face-to-face if you prefer.</p><p><strong>For a simple and effective way to run your business finances allowing you the time you need to run your business successfully, speak to our team of accountants at Gorilla Accounting.</strong></p> Fri, 22 Jun 2018 12:00:00 +0100 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/online-accountants-for-contractors-is-this-for-you- Umbrella company fees – How much should I pay and what am I paying for? https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/umbrella-company-fees-how-much-should-i-pay-and-what-am-i-paying-for- <p><strong>Setting up a new contractor business or running an existing contractor business can be a minefield, especially managing your income, expenditure and cash flow.</strong></p><p>If you choose to work with an Umbrella company, then one of the most critical factors in your decision making will be Umbrella company fees as they can vary dramatically. It can be a fine balance to figure out which Umbrella company is best and getting the best deal on Umbrella company fees so you know you are in the right place for your business.</p><p>By opting to work under an Umbrella company, you are ultimately becoming an employee of that company which will have a number of benefits to your contractor business. Your choices will be whether to join an Umbrella company which is usually the quickest and easiest route or to incorporate as your own Limited company which is generally better for a longer-term view. </p><h2>What are Umbrella company fees and costs? </h2><p>Generally, there are two types of Umbrella company fees or charges which can be easily identified by the way that they are calculated. Each type of Umbrella company fee will have pro’s and con’s depending on how your contractor business runs and what is best for your situation:</p><ol><li>Fixed Umbrella company fees: This is the most common method for Umbrella companies to charge fees especially in the UK and generally the easiest for being able to manage your costs effectively as it is predictable and stable.</li> <li>Percentage based Umbrella company fees: Some Umbrella companies will charge a percentage of your invoice amount which is a method which is mainly adopted by overseas organisations.</li> </ol><p>The use of a percentage-based Umbrella company fees system is less common in the UK and can be more costly for you and your contractor business if you tend to have higher value agreements with clients. </p><h2>What are the normal Umbrella company fees? </h2><p>The modern and incredibly popular contractor market has made the Umbrella and contractor accountancy market to be extremely busy but also highly competitive, so you will find that you will have a choice of different Umbrella companies and Umbrella company fees.</p><p>The majority of Umbrella companies will have similar fees and charges which will roughly be around £25 to £30 weekly or £80 to £120 monthly. You should expect Umbrella company fees to vary as well depending on which services they offer and what you want to get out of them. </p><h2>How will I get paid? </h2><p>Generally, you will find that there are three main stages to your pay calculations under Umbrella companies which are:</p><ol><li>Statutory pay or basic salary: Umbrella companies will calculate your pay based on the number of hours that you have worked to cover statutory minimum wage.</li> <li>Annual leave: As with most contract workers, one of the most important elements of your pay will be the ability to claim annual leave pay.</li> <li>Commission or bonus pay: If your pay includes an element of bonus or commission then this will be calculated on top of your standard salary. Any additional costs such as Umbrella company fees will be deducted from this amount.</li> </ol><h2>Maternity or Paternity pay and pension contributions with Umbrella companies </h2><p>Your pay will be calculated so that you are paying your PAYE and National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s) to cover your statutory requirements. You will also be entitled your statutory maternity or paternity rights under current UK legislation for an employee as well as having to auto-enrol to a company pension scheme under the new NEST regulatory requirements. </p><p>Your Umbrella company will automatically enrol you on to their scheme which will be covered under their standard agreement and within their Umbrella company fees. Once you are enrolled you will also have the right to remove yourself or opt-out from the scheme within the allotted time period.</p><p>If you need more help or advice around how our <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/our-services/gorilla-payroll-umbrella-company-contractor-freelancer/?url=/our-services/gorilla-payroll/">Gorilla Accounting Umbrella</a> company fees work then you should speak to one of our team of experts to find out more. We aim to provide an outstanding service to our Umbrella company clients as well as being extremely competitive with our Umbrella company fees structure.</p> Fri, 22 Jun 2018 11:00:00 +0100 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/umbrella-company-fees-how-much-should-i-pay-and-what-am-i-paying-for- Sole trader contractor – Why don’t contractors usually operate as sole traders? https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/sole-trader-contractor-why-don-t-contractors-usually-operate-as-sole-traders- <p><strong>Contracting is a fantastic way to run your own business, to get the most from your income, and in a lot of cases, enjoy the flexibility and independence that contracting brings.</strong></p><p>Sole trader contracting is rarely an option even though it might seem the quickest and easiest way to set up your new business and to start out as a contract worker. Most people assume that you can simply set up as a sole trader contractor in the beginning to see how things go and move on from there. The <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/resources/gorilla-guides/limited-or-umbrella/">main realistic options</a> for a new contract worker are to become a member of an Umbrella Company or to set up as a new Limited Company which is the longer term solution.</p><h2>Is it practical to set-up as a Sole Trader Contractor?</h2><p>In some cases, an agency may reject working with a sole trader contractor because of the risks involved from an employment law perspective, as from a legal perspective, the individual may be viewed as an employee.</p><p>UK regulations that surround agency recruitment and any other employee organisation means that it can be restrictive when working with sole trader contractors. The current law in the UK states that self-employed individuals (e.g. sole trader contractors) are not allowed to be involved with agency work, plus National Insurance Contributions and income tax must be deducted at source.</p><p>It is also a risky strategy for recruitment agencies to work with sole trader contractors because of the strong possibility of being left with a tax liability if the individual ceases trading. Under the Managed Services Legislation of the debt management provisions, it will be left to the agency to repay any unpaid tax to the HMRC on behalf of the sole trader contractor.</p><h2>Clients and sole trader contractors</h2><p>There have been instances in the past where an individual has worked directly for a client of a business or organisation as a sole trader contractor, even though it has to be said that this is extremely rare due to legal and financial risks.</p><p>The greatest risk to the business or organisation is that the sole trader contractor could claim certain rights as an employee from the client. ndustries such as construction would be a major example where we see a higher level of employment tribunals due to the nature of work.</p><p>There is also a strong risk that due to the fact that the sole trader contractor is classified as not being a legal entity (e.g. Umbrella Company or Limited Company), then they become a high risk for removing the client. Due to the fact that the sole trader contractor works more closely with the client, it can be a risky strategy for a business. </p><h2>Preferred supplier agreements or exclusive agency contracts</h2><p>In some cases, especially in larger organisations or in the public sector and private sector, there will generally be a preferred supplier or exclusivity agreement with a single agency or a panel of agencies. </p><p>A sole trader contractor can attempt to take on the role within the larger organisation, however, the preferred supplier agreement could generally prevent this from happening.</p><p>If you decide to go down the route of applying for the work through an agency, then they may require you to incorporate rather than allowing you to work as a sole trader contractor.</p><h2>Sole trader contractor risks for the individual </h2><p>Sole trader contracting also comes with some risks to the individual which can be financial as well as possible legal risks. From a legal perspective, HMRC does not consider the sole trader contractor to be a separate legal entity from the director and shareholder behind them.</p><p>From a potential financial risks perspective, there can be an extremely high risk for the sole trader contractor for their personal assets being lumped into any legal claim for compensation. This can obviously include things such as their homes and other assets which under normal circumstances would be protected.</p><p><strong>If you want help to set up your new contractor business or to discuss how and why sole trader contractor would work for you then contact one of our team of Gorilla Accounting experts today.</strong></p> Fri, 22 Jun 2018 10:00:00 +0100 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/sole-trader-contractor-why-don-t-contractors-usually-operate-as-sole-traders- Specialist Contractor Accountants: 5 common questions about income and tax https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/specialist-contractor-accountants-5-common-questions-about-income-and-tax <p>Gorilla Accounting is a specialist contractor accountancy firm for sole traders and contract workers offering a range of professional accountancy-based services to help you run your business more efficiently. Here we give some answers to the most common questions that we get asked regularly by our clients and new customers.</p><p>Specialist contractor accountants have a number of key responsibilities to you as the contractor to ensure that you stay within the current legislation and regulations around pay, as well as helping you to get the most from your business income. It is important that you deal with a specialist contractor accountant who understands current and upcoming legislation to advise you on the most efficient levels of income.</p><h2>1. How does IR35 legislation affect me and what is it?</h2><p><a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/resources/ir35-guide-contractors/">IR35</a> came into effect to help HMRC govern and regulate the amount of tax that a contractor will pay. Any specialist contractor accountant should have a detailed knowledge of IR35 legislation to be able to effectively calculate the amount of tax that you should pay as a contract worker and what is or not allowable. Although IR35 is a tax legislation, it also has some elements which overlap with employment law as well as using some of the same case law precedents and tests.</p><h2>2. What is the most tax efficient way to pay through a specialist contractor accountant?</h2><p>Specialist contractor accountants will calculate the most efficient way to run your payroll for you so that you get the most out of your pay. There are a number of ways in which a specialist contractor accountant can run to work in a way that suits you best depending on your needs and circumstances. A specialist contractor accountant should have detailed knowledge of up to date tax legislation and National Insurance Contribution levels so that they can effectively guide you and your Limited Company.</p><h2>3. How can I claim expenses through my Limited Company if I am a contractor?</h2><p>For anyone who is classed as a contractor working through their own limited company, they should be able to claim a number of legitimate work expenses which your accountant should be able to advise you on. Some high-street accountants may not recognise the fact that contract workers are eligible to claim expenses through their own limited company which can be costly for the individual. You should ensure that your accountant is fully up to date with current legislation and equipped to be able to effectively advise you on what you are legitimately able to claim for.</p><h2>4. What are the most tax efficient ways for me to pay myself through my limited company?</h2><p>There are a number of tax efficient routes for potentially taking income from your which your Specialist Contractor Accountant should be able to advise you on to help you receive payments whilst paying only the tax you should pay. After you have taken your salary and any dividend payments you should then have a number of options which include:</p><p>-       Company pension contributions: Any contractor working through a limited company will be able to allocate a percentage of their income to a long-term pension scheme via contributions. This works in two ways as it helps with planning for retirement as well as reducing your tax liability in the longer term.</p><p>-       Commensurate corporate tax reductions: A Specialist Contractor Accountant will be able to identify this option for you and direct you to your independent financial adviser to discuss in more detail.</p><p>A Specialist Contractor Accountant should be able to effectively identify which options are best for you and your business to ensure that you generate the highest returns based on your individual circumstances.</p><h2>5. What advice can a Specialist Contractor Accountant offer for my long-term financial strategy?</h2><p>As a contractor, you will generally have a clear plan of what your financial goals are for your business and when you would like to achieve these goals by. The most important thing to a Specialist Contractor Accountant should be helping you to achieve your financial goals as quickly and effectively as possible. This sounds as though it should be pretty obvious to most Specialist Contractor Accountants but you need to make sure that you are working with someone who understands and appreciates your requirements before you commit to working with them. An example of this would be the most common goal which is to achieve early retirement which can be achieved by your Specialist Contractor Accountant by good tax planning and effective timing of dividend payments.</p><p><strong>The team at Gorilla Accounting are here to ensure you get the most from your contractor income as well as to achieve your personal and financial goals. Our monthly package includes a whole host of services to help your business to grow and to support you to make the best financial decisions making your income as tax efficient as possible.</strong></p> Fri, 22 Jun 2018 09:00:00 +0100 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/specialist-contractor-accountants-5-common-questions-about-income-and-tax Accountants For IT Contractors and Software Developers https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/accountants-it-contractors-software-developers <p><strong>Our accountants at Gorilla Accounting know that in the UK industry, IT developers and software development are here to stay.</strong></p><p>In a sector growing ever larger and with so many companies of all varieties and sizes in each stage of their corporate lives, it is inevitable that every IT contractor / developer and software developer will face different issues.</p><p>We at Gorilla Accounting understand that you need to be secure in the knowledge your accounting service can provide the highly specific advice you will require in order to continue to develop successfully. Where we really add value is through applying the knowledge and experience we've built up from working with IT contractors and software developers, such as yourself. We can apply this by helping you meet all your compliance requirements for your accounting, including the preparation and submission of the following; </p><ul><li>Financial StatementsCorporation Tax Return</li> <li>Quarterly VAT Returns</li> <li>Payroll (for up to 2 employees)</li> <li>P11d </li> </ul><h2>Our Accounting Services for IT Contractors and Software Developers</h2><p>At Gorilla Accounting, we aim to keep everything simple and straightforward. We offer just one all-inclusive package, which covers the essential accountancy needs for your limited company. Regardless of your profession, sector or turnover, you’ll be given an all-inclusive service at a fixed price. We have developed our specialist contractor offering around both our own experience and feedback from contractors.</p><p><strong>Our <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/our-services/contractor-freelancer-accountancy-services/">all-inclusive package</a> is just £85 + vat per month. If you pay 12 months upfront, beginning at the start of your company year, we'll even give you 10% off your total fees.</strong></p><h2><strong>IT Contractor Accounting Services Package</strong></h2><p>Gorilla offers a full contractor accounting services package for IT Contractors and Software Developers. To achieve this, we offer a range of different accountancy services which are included in our complete package, such as gaining 24/7 access to our online bookkeeping tool, <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/our-services/contractor-freelancer-accountancy-services/online-bookkeeping-software/">FreeAgent</a>.</p><p>We have developed strong relationships with IT contractors and freelancers running their own IT Developer and Software development limited companies and it’s this experience, which has enabled us to develop the perfect accountancy service package.</p><p>For more information regarding our Contractor Accounting Services Package, please <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/our-services/contractor-freelancer-accountancy-services/">click here</a></span>. Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our specialist accountants for IT contractors for more information.</p><h2><strong>Online Accounting Software</strong></h2><p>Upon joining Gorilla, IT Contractors will be given 24/7 access to our online accounting services software <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/our-services/contractor-freelancer-accountancy-services/online-bookkeeping-software/">FreeAgent</a>. FreeAgent is industry standard within the contracting industry and is trusted by over 60,000 contractors, freelancers and small businesses. FreeAgent provides real time statistics which can be used to give you a better understanding of your accounts.</p><p>Using online accounting software is the best way to keep control over your accounts and provides you with access to your accounts in real time so you can keep up to date with the things that matter most.</p><p>For more information regarding Online Accounting Software, please <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/our-services/contractor-freelancer-accountancy-services/online-bookkeeping-software/">click here</a></span>. Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our specialist accountants for IT contractors for more information.</p><h2>Limited Company Formation</h2><p>When starting your IT Developer or Software Development Company, there will be several ways that you can choose to operate. One possible route that should be considered would be to work as a limited company director as this may be more suitable as you could benefit from the tax planning opportunities available. Our specialist accountants for IT contractors will be able to help you through this process.</p><h2>IT Contractor Insurance</h2><p>As an IT contractor, there are various insurance covers that you are required to have by law. Insurance is essential for any IT Developer or Software Development business and it will protect you.</p><p>Dependant on how you may be working, there are a few different types of insurance that you will need to keep in mind. Professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance, employer liability insurance and cyber and data risks insurance should all be considered when becoming a contractor.</p><p>Bank Accounts for IT Contractors and Software Developers</p><p>When you start out as an IT Developer or Software Development company, you will be required to open a business bank account. Your limited company must be separate to your personal account.</p><p>As part of the Gorilla all-inclusive accountancy package, we can assist with opening a business bank account. See our <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Bank Accounts for Contractors</span> page for more details.</p><h2>IT Contractor Mortgages</h2><p>Securing a mortgage when contracting is high-risk. Due to the flexibility of contracting, certain lenders place certain restrictions. Gorilla Accounting can put you in touch with an IT contractor mortgage specialist. For more information, visit our <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Contractor Mortgages</span> page.</p><h2>Outstanding Customer Service</h2><p>At Gorilla Accounting, our service aims to keep everything simple and straightforward. We offer just one all-inclusive package, which covers everything that Limited Companies and IT Contractors need.</p><p><strong>We at Gorilla Accounting are ready to help you make this journey as an IT contractor or Software Developer as simple as possible. Email us at </strong><a href="mailto:info@gorillaaccounting.co">info@gorillaaccounting.co</a><a href="mailto:info@gorillaaccounting.com">m</a><strong> or call us on 0330-024-0406. </strong></p> Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:00:00 +0100 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/accountants-it-contractors-software-developers Umbrella Company in the UK - What you need to know https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/umbrella-company-uk <p><strong>An Umbrella Company is effectively a business acting for short-term contract workers as an employer for payroll, and in some cases, long-term contract workers.</strong></p><p>The term Umbrella Company is used in the UK because of the way that this business generally acts as an employer on behalf of several or more contract workers. The contract worker effectively will be paid via the Umbrella Company using PAYE. </p><p>Umbrella Companies became more common in the UK following the government’s introduction of the IR35 regulation, the <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/resources/ir35-guide-contractors/">purpose of IR35 legislation</a><a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/resources/ir35-guide-contractors/"></a> is to tackle disguised employment.</p><h2>UK Umbrella Company statistics</h2><p>-        Approximately 4 Million temporary workers in the UK</p><p>-        1.56 Million temporary workers classified as management or senior roles</p><p>-        14% of UK professional contractors use Umbrella Companies</p><h2>UK Umbrella Company structures </h2><p>In the same way as an employer acts for an employee, an Umbrella Company will process any timesheets for hours worked to then issue an invoice to the client for payment. The Umbrella Company, therefore, holds the same responsibilities as an employer, which also means that they should have a contract of employment for all contract workers under that business.</p><p>As part of their payroll services, the umbrella company will provide contractual rights such as maternity pay, sick pay, and employment protection. The Umbrella Company will provide payroll services as its main function for the contract worker, which it will bill to the agency (if applicable) for all work undertaken and time worked.</p><p>The contract worker is classed as the employee of the Umbrella Company who completes the actual work as part of their short-term or long-term contract. The contractor will then submit their timesheet for the work completed to the Umbrella Company.</p><h2>UK Umbrella Company Charges</h2><p>Any Umbrella Company will offer the same payroll schemes using the UK’s standard PAYE calculations to be able to work out how much each contract worker should be paying in tax and National Insurance. The main differences between each Umbrella Company in the UK will be the variances % or margins that they will charge and any benefit schemes that they operate for their contract workers.</p><p>An Umbrella Company in the UK will generally use a margin or percentage-based charging structure, which will be deducted from the contract workers pay to collect its fees. Umbrella Companies in the UK will generally work on the basis of a fixed fee or set amount, which will be deducted from the contract workers pay on a weekly or monthly basis. Some Umbrella Companies operating in mainland Europe will work on a percentage-based amount depending on the country that they operate in. </p><p><strong>If you need some help or guidance on how Umbrella Company schemes work and how that could benefit you then you should <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/contact-us/general-enquiries/">speak to one of our team</a> of Gorilla Umbrella Company experts to find out more. We offer a comprehensive range of accountancy services to support you and your business so that you can concentrate on the important aspects of contract working.</strong></p> Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:00:00 +0100 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/umbrella-company-uk Accountants for Sole Traders https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/accountants-sole-traders <h2><strong style="font-size: 10px;">A lot more people are setting themselves up as sole traders in recent years and it's easy to see why since being a sole trader is recognised as one of the simplest ways in which to trade.</strong></h2><p>In brief, being a sole trader essentially means you own the business you run as well as <i>being</i> the business you own. This is why many people are turning to <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/our-services/contractor-freelancer-accountancy-services/sole-traders/">dedicated accountants for sole traders.</a> </p><p>Gorilla Accounting will endeavour to make your sole trading business, whether freshly started up or years into a successful business run smooth with our team of dedicated accountants, ready to keep your business finances right up to date with a smooth and hassle-free experience. </p><p>A sole trader business is perfectly suited to contractors and individuals operating on their own and providing a personal service. We here at Gorilla Accounting work as accountants for sole traders, so whether you are incorporating your own sole trade or seeking to maximise your tax efficiency, Gorilla will tackle the financial legwork from all corners for you, leaving you to steer your business to success.</p><p>You may not have a plan currently in place or might not be using the optimal method to maximise your income, which is where we come in. By joining us, you will engage with a highly powered business partner that will help drive your business forward in many complex areas.</p><h2>What is a sole trader?</h2><p>Being a Sole Trader is somewhat different to being Self-Employed. A self-employed person is someone who works for themselves without any employer, whereas a Sole Trader is a self-employed person that is also the sole owner of their business.</p><p>As mentioned above, being a sole trader is one of the simplest ways in which to trade. The big difference in being a sole trader is that you are personally liable for any debts your business may incur.</p><p>Now that may sound daunting, but there are several benefits as well as disadvantages to being a sole trader;</p><p><strong>Advantages</strong></p><ul><li>A definite positive is you will be your own boss.</li> <li>There is the potential to earn more than you would have done so as an employee.</li> <li>There's the freedom to work from anywhere at any time. </li> </ul><p><strong>Disadvantages</strong></p><ul><li>Long working hours and tight deadlines.</li> <li>No employment protections such as sick pay, holiday pay  </li> <li>You will need to fulfil many roles from CEO to HR, Customer support to Cleaner.</li> <li>Your success as a business will be solely dependant on you.</li> </ul><p>So there are definitely things to consider and sacrifices to be made in being a sole trader but there a lot of people that see the worth in it, especially with the help of dedicated accountants for sole traders.</p><h2>Setting up as a sole trader</h2><p><strong>Registering</strong></p><p>Setting up requires you to register with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) within three months of the month you started up. This simply allows HMRC to send you bills, they will also send a form you need to complete if you register for VAT. This will ultimately ensure your state pension is not negatively affected in the future.</p><p><strong>Business Name</strong></p><p>Registering your business name is similar as if you were setting up a limited company, meaning you can pick whichever name you like. It could be beneficial to register your name as soon as possible in order to protect it in the future but, more importantly, this will show your details on the Companies House website, providing client confidence and credibility to your business.</p><p><strong>Business Bank Account</strong></p><p>The next step would be to open a business bank account. This is optional and entirely up to the individual, but most sole traders follow this practice since it is always a good idea to keep your personal finances separate from your business finances and this allows a clean and simple way of doing so. Gorilla Accounting are specialist accountants for sole traders and can help you with this setup process. </p><p><strong>What can Gorilla Accounting do for you?</strong></p><p>As you can see from the above, those with little to no accounting experience could easily struggle with keeping on top of their finances which could become a big, time-consuming problem and detract from your primary goal of running your sole trading business successfully. In this world of ever-growing compliance and regulations, it is absolutely vital your accounts and books are up to date and accurate. </p><p>At Gorilla Accounting we can handle the tedium that comes with accounting by offering a diverse, real-time and a hassle-free solution that integrates your business accounting into one easy to use platform. You will have full access to your dedicated, professional accountant whom will work with you in ensuring everything is always kept up to date from business finances, tax returns, bills, invoices and everything in between. </p><p>So, with a transparent pricing structure of only £55 + VAT per month, with a dedicated accountant with the option to direct dial plus access to the leading bookkeeping software, FreeAgent, Gorilla Accounting has got all your needs covered.</p><p><strong>Dedicated Accountant</strong></p><p>Once you are a client, we will provide you with a dedicated accountant of your very own. Contrary to most other online accounting firms, you will be given a direct contact number so you will only ever be a single phone call away from your expert advisor. </p><p>We take great care to make sure our client to accountant ratio is closely taken care of so you can get to know your accountant on a first name basis – we would not want it any other way for you.</p><p>They will be able to assist you with gathering paperwork, documents and receipts and ensure you are always up to date with your tax returns, VAT bills outstanding invoices and much more.</p><p><strong>Simplified Business Accounting with FreeAgent</strong></p><p>Over 60,000 small businesses, including sole traders, trust <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/our-services/contractor-freelancer-accountancy-services/online-bookkeeping-software/">FreeAgent</a> as one of the most advanced online bookkeeping packages available and will be included in your Gorilla Accounting subscription.</p><p>Some of FreeAgents features include;</p><ul><li>Track your business figures in real time.</li> <li>Detailed dashboard keeps an eye on tax deadlines, profit, loss, cash flow, account balances.</li> <li>Quickly upload Receipts.</li> <li>Manage Expenses.</li> <li>Reconcile + categorise bank transactions.</li> <li>Create, send and chase invoices.</li> <li>Store your financial data in the cloud with all details encrypted to security used by high street banks for extra</li> <li>peace of mind. </li> </ul><p><strong>Outstanding customer service</strong></p><p>At Gorilla Accounting, we will never employ call centre advisors. We have chosen to build a fantastic team of talented accountants ready to stretch to the full length in ensuring your financial issues are solved promptly and with the absolute minimum of fuss.</p><p>With a rate of just £55 + VAT per month for sole traders, you will always know exactly where you stand with your accounting expenditures, no matter how often you use our services.</p><p><strong>We fully understand being your own boss is an incomparable experience, but also a truly challenging one. We at Gorilla Accounting are ready to help you make this journey as a sole trader as simple as possible and invite you to email us at <a href="mailto:info@gorillaaccounting.com">info@gorillaaccounting.com</a> or call us on 0330 0240 406 in order to discuss our low monthly fee and begin taking the difficulty out of your business finances.</strong></p> Thu, 07 Jun 2018 09:00:00 +0100 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/accountants-sole-traders Ltd company contractor - advice on mileage tracking https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/ltd-company-contractor-advice <p><strong>It is well acknowledged that many contractors choose to work for themselves as a limited company as this can represent the most tax efficient methodology of working, depending on the circumstances.</strong></p><p>Whilst managing the financial aspects of the business can be made easier by choosing an accountant to assist with the legalities of the annual accounts, many contractors still struggle with tracking their daily expenses. Related to this, if you utilise a personal vehicle for business purposes then the business mileage deduction is a scheme which can save money on your tax bill. However, in order to support claims related to travel, HMRC insists that limited company contractors provide evidence in the form of an accurate mileage log, which must be updated in parallel with any business associated mileage (i.e. the records cannot be backdated).</p><p>For this reason, it is of utmost importance that you utilise an efficient strategy to begin tracking your mileage any time you complete a trip. However, what details should the mileage log include? In general, HMRC requires the following information to be recorded:</p><ul><li>Date that the journey occurred</li> <li>The reason for the journey (business related)</li> <li>The starting point and final destination</li> <li>Distance travelled</li> </ul><p>It is highly recommended that self-employed limited company contractors also maintain records of their personal mileage, just in case. These records should be kept for at least five years after submission in case the tax agency requests to review your record keeping history.</p><p>Fortunately, HMRC permits mileage records to be presented using any preferred method, as long as the details are accurate and reliable. However, many contractors often find this a difficult task as not utilising a specially designed system can result in substantial manual data entry of every journey made. There is a consensus that mileage tracking can often be a chore and it is difficult to remember to log the details of every single journey. Paper mileage logs often seem appealing due to their ease, but it must be acknowledged that these are susceptible to loss or damage (especially over the course of five years). Computer-based spreadsheets are commonly used, although these are also subject to loss (if your computer malfunctions) and do not overcome the challenge of remembering to log every business related to journey.</p><p>In an attempt to resolve this increasing demand, a number of mileage-tracking apps have been developed. The fact that most smartphones feature inbuilt GPS systems, means that often these mileage-tracking apps do not require you to remember to commence logging a trip. In fact, often the only information you may need to supply is whether the journey was for business or personal purposes. This automatic drive detection function of many of these makes it easier to track every single business-related drive. An additional benefit of utilising a mileage-tracking app is that the data is securely stored (such as on cloud-based software, <a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/our-services/contractor-freelancer-accountancy-services/online-bookkeeping-software/">FreeAgent</a>), which avoids the issue of data loss.</p><p>However, with a number of mileage-tracking apps widely available, it is often difficult to select the best one to use depending on the specific needs of your limited company. With this in mind, we have compiled a list and short summary of some commonly used mileage-tracking apps:</p><h2><a href="https://www.mileiq.com/">MileIQ</a></h2><p>Is a relatively new app aimed at small businesses who are interested in a budget-friendly simple app. A free version of this app is available to cover up to 40 drives per month in multiple vehicles and offers the ability for detailed reports to be exported. A simple categorise function also allows you to divide date depending on if the journey was for business or personal use. The premium version of this app has the benefit of covering unlimited trips per month. MileIQ does not feature a functionality to automatically calculate any tax-related costs.</p><h2><a href="https://everlance.com/">Everlance</a></h2><p>The Everlance app is available at a small cost per year and offers automatic mileage tracking, which can be linked to your business bank account, meaning it can further function as an all-inclusive expense tracker. The app also enables any journeys made to be categorised effectively depending on their purpose. In addition, Everlance offers the opportunity to set specific work hours when the tracker will actively log your mileage (and ignore any journeys made outside of these time constraints). Everlance can supply detailed reports which include GPS mapping data, photographs, time zones and other information. The app is described as offering documentation that is IRS guideline complaint.</p><h2>Mile Cloud</h2><p>The Mile Cloud app can track your mileage for a small fee per annum, with the availability to manually enter data being uncapped. The app also offers categorisation of trips through a series of tabs. Mile Cloud generates reasonable reports of the mileage-tracking data which can be shared in two main formats (PDF or CSV). The interface offered by this app is somewhat simpler than others available on the market and the categorisation system has been described as not being as quick to use.</p><h2><a href="https://www.hurdlr.com/">Hurdlr</a></h2><p>Hurdlr offers the ability to track mileage as well as estimated taxes. When linked to your bank account, the app can track self-employment taxes and even remind you of scheduled payments which can be made through the app itself. The free version of the app also includes unlimited auto-mileage tracking, the manual addition of income/expenses and tax calculation summaries. The report outputs of Hurdlr can be exported via email reports to CPA. Further to this, the premium version of Hurdlr enables automated expense tracking, calculation of tax estimates featuring payment reminders. Furthermore, you can specify work hours when mileage will be logged.</p><h2><a href="https://quickbooks.intuit.com/uk/oa/self-employed/?cid=ppc_G_B_Exact_Brand_Quickbooks_Product_Self_Employed_Exact_quickbook-self-employed_txt">QuickBooks Self-Employed</a></h2><p>QuickBooks Self-Employed is an example of an ‘all-in-one’ tracker which combines the ability to track mileage with different accounting services (if the TurboTax bundle plan is implemented). Functionalities are automatic mileage tracking, connection to bank accounts, tracking of income/expenses, generation of invoices, attachment of receipts to transactions, calculations of tax payments with reminders. Reports from this system are automatically transferred to your Schedule C (if you also use the TurboTax software). Although all of these functionalities are appealing, the app can be considered expensive to some small businesses.</p><p>Overall, there are a number of apps which are specifically designed to overcome the challenges of accurately documenting mileage for small businesses. If you are unsure how best to keep a detailed record of this information, then it is best advised to consult with a specialist accountant, who can not only help you effectively prepare for annual tax reporting but can also give expert guidance on the best way to track any mileage incurred bespoke to the needs of your particular business.</p><h2><a href="https://www.freeagent.com/central/introducing-stopwatch-timers-on-freeagent-mobile/?__hstc=45629947.7d293c17a47b603c32280f921003e986.1527085000744.1527676748292.1527680739771.20&amp;__hssc=45629947.13.1527680739771&amp;__hsfp=38345917">FreeAgent</a></h2><p>FreeAgent, industry standard bookkeeping software designed with Contractors and Freelancers in mind also caters for the time conscious worker, having relaunched their <a href="https://www.freeagent.com/central/introducing-stopwatch-timers-on-freeagent-mobile/?__hstc=45629947.7d293c17a47b603c32280f921003e986.1527085000744.1527676748292.1527680739771.20&amp;__hssc=45629947.13.1527680739771&amp;__hsfp=38345917">stopwatch timer</a>. Simply hit start and once the job is complete, hit stop and attach your time to your invoice.</p><p>Read our blog post on<a href="https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/four-essential-time-tracking-tools-for-freelancers"> ‘Four Essential Time Tracking Tools for Freelancers’</a> for more information.</p><p><strong>If you’re interested in FreeAgent or would like to request a free demo, get in touch with </strong>or<strong> New Business team on 0330 024 0406 or email <a href="mailto:info@gorillaaccounting.com">info@gorillaaccounting.com</a></strong></p> Wed, 30 May 2018 12:00:00 +0100 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/ltd-company-contractor-advice Taxation of locum doctors - Tips on how best to manage your tax return https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/taxation-locum-doctors-tips <p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><strong>Self-employment is becoming a popular option in the UK, with many individuals seeking more control of their career development and flexibility to improve their work-life balance.</strong></p><p style="text-align: left;" align="center">However, for the self-employed, completion of Self-Assessment tax returns each year can be a daunting task. This is true for locum doctors working in NHS trusts under umbrella companies or operating as limited companies. Locum doctors operating in this manner experience need to dedicate time to managing the business and financial aspects of their own self-employment, including submission of an annual tax return.</p><p style="text-align: left;">When starting off as a locum doctor, compiling all of the necessary paperwork and government ID references related to your finances can be stressful. Below are some tips to make the process easier:</p><h2 style="text-align: left;">1. Compile your paperwork effectively</h2><p style="text-align: left;">As a self-employed locum doctor, a full record of your accounts needs to be maintained to accurately track your expenses. Bank statements, interest, loans related to the company and any investments over the last tax year also need to be recorded. Filing paperwork, receipts and statements in preparation for your tax return is often a laborious process, therefore, many locum doctors often opt for using an online platform to organise their records and streamline the recording system.</p><h2 style="text-align: left;">2. Be aware of your deadlines</h2><p style="text-align: left;">Taxpayers are assessed on their annual earnings, with the tax year running from 6<sup>th</sup> April to the following April. However, the deadline for completing a paper tax return is 31<sup>st</sup> October. If you prefer to file a tax return online, then the deadline is 31<sup>st</sup> January. With these deadlines in mind, it is worth considering that HMRC may experience busy periods around the deadlines of submission and it does not always cope with the burden. Helplines can also become inundated, should you require advice or help throughout this time.</p><h2 style="text-align: left;">3. Obtain your access codes</h2><p style="text-align: left;">A unique taxpayer reference is required when applying for a tax return. This code is normally provided on correspondence from the HMRC. You will need this code to establish a government gateway account to obtain an activation code (normally distributed in the post).</p><h2 style="text-align: left;">4. Meticulously record and claim your expenses</h2><p style="text-align: left;">All business expenses made through the company need to be accurately accounted for so that at the end of the financial year appropriate deductions from your tax bill can be made. Obvious expenses include travel, accommodation and motor expenses, however, business expenses may also cover subsistence, medical equipment, course fees, office equipment, uniform and professional subscriptions (such as BMA, GMS or MDU). There is some information related to claimable expenses featured on the HMRC website, however, if you seek further clarity it is advised to seek guidance from a registered accountant.</p><h2 style="text-align: left;">5. Keep records of gift aid donations</h2><p style="text-align: left;">Taxpayers who pay higher-rate taxes may also claim tax relief on any gift aid. The amount of tax relief may be estimated using tax calculators available on some online services. Therefore, it is recommended to maintain accurate records of any gift aid donations associated with the business. If you are unsure of the tax relief available you could seek the advice of a contract accountant.</p><h2 style="text-align: left;">6. Invest in pension contributions and assess tax relief</h2><p style="text-align: left;">Operating outside NHS trusts as a locum means you can potentially save tax by putting freelance income through a limited company, however, it means you are not eligible to pension such income through the NHS scheme. However, you can organise your own pension contributions. Tax relief is available on pension savings and higher rate taxpayers should pay considerable attention to this, as they may be able to claim significant tax relief on pension contributions made.</p><h2 style="text-align: left;">7. Consider if you need an accountant</h2><p style="text-align: left;">If you are operating through an umbrella company, you may feel confident in completing your own tax return. On the other hand, if you operate a personal service company or attain income from a range of sources then you may benefit from sourcing a professional accountant to overcome the complexity in sourcing the required paperwork related to these business accounts, as well as calculating tax rates and liaising with HMRC. In general, entrusting an accountant to maintain accurate business records and file the relevant paperwork may prove worthwhile, especially during submission of tax returns once a year as it will save you considerable amounts of time, which you can then dedicate to patients or running your personal service company more efficiently.</p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p><p style="text-align: left;"> </p> Tue, 29 May 2018 14:00:00 +0100 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/taxation-locum-doctors-tips Choosing the best umbrella agency to maximise your income https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/choosing-best-umbrella-agency <p><strong>With self-employment become an increasingly popular option within the UK, the decision to operate as a limited company or working through an umbrella agency is becoming popular.</strong></p><p>There are numerous contributing factors which influence the direction taken, largely dictated by the type of business and the individual's experience in business management.</p><p>Largely, umbrella agencies are considered when individuals do not have large amounts of time or experience to dedicate to managing business accounts. In addition, individuals with short contracts generally operate through an umbrella agency to minimise their personal administrative responsibilities. The main advantages of working through an umbrella agency include avoiding the hassle of setting up a limited company, minimising the requirement for handling business accounts, minimum effort to arrange VAT returns, payroll matters and taxation.</p><p>To accommodate the different requirements of specific businesses, there are a range of umbrella agencies available enabling tailored support packages. Examples of these are:</p><h2>Salary only scheme or PAYE umbrella</h2><p>This category defines the most common umbrella strategy. This approach does not attempt to operate outside IR35 legislation and all income is received via salary only. Most umbrella companies make payments through the PAYE system. Any expense claims may only include services or items that are legalised by HMRC regulations. You should research the reasoning behind any deductions made when choosing an umbrella company.</p><h2>Other arrangement types</h2><p>Other umbrella companies can offer alternative methods of working, sometimes involving offshore arrangements or loans utilising foreign currency. According to some, the payment method of this approach offers a distinct advantage over the traditional PAYE umbrella schemes.</p><p>With these two main categories operating in different ways, it is highly important that you are comfortable with the strategy of work being offered and the legality surrounding this. It is worth noting some of the major issues people encounter when working with an umbrella company are:</p><h2>Speed of payments</h2><p>According to most, the speed of processing and quality of service provided by other umbrella agencies often does not meet expectations. For this reason, it is important to consider the speed of processing an umbrella agency may offer and whether this is well suited to your circumstances of can be tailored to do so. It is advisable to initially clarify how quickly the umbrella agency intends to manage invoices and how quickly you can expect payment once invoices have been settled.</p><h2>Monies held back</h2><p>As umbrella companies function by employing contractors, it is common for them to withhold a small proportion of money to account for particular circumstances such as workers holiday, with the intent of paying this amount at a later date. It is important to think about whether this arrangement will suit your individual requirements and it may be worth clarifying with the selected umbrella company the monies that may be retained and how you expect to receive this.</p><h2>Fees</h2><p>The fees specified by different umbrella companies vary substantially. Commonly, umbrella companies operate by charging via a percentage basis. The method of operating is something worth considering when selecting an umbrella company. Finalising the fees you expect to pay and the services you hope to receive can often be tailored to personal circumstances. Reputable umbrella agencies normally base their fees on the expected income of the individual. When selecting an umbrella company, it is also beneficial to question any hidden costs or penalties that may be encountered,</p><h2>Experience</h2><p>Select an established or well-revered umbrella company to manage your income. Most umbrella agencies are managed by qualified accountants.</p><p>In fact, most agencies will suggest an appropriate umbrella company. These recommendations are based on the standard of service the umbrella company offers, although some agencies have a fixed policy, whereby, they provide a standard list of recommendations. This may be something worth considering when choosing an umbrella company and it may be beneficial to liaise with different agencies to establish frequently recommended agencies. Although, it should be considered that personal recommendations be incentivised.</p><p>Overall, when researching possible umbrella companies, you need to consider multiple factors to tailor the services acquired to your specific needs. It is important to check the credentials and reputation of the umbrella company. In addition, establishing expectations for items such as fees charged or speed of payment is advisable.</p><p>As a contractor, umbrella agencies offer a simple and effective solution to managing your finances. Largely, umbrella companies alleviate the pressures associated with the substantial amounts of paperwork linked to managing business accounts. By delegating some of this work to an umbrella company will reduce stresses of business management and enable you to focus on other elements of the company.</p><p> </p> Tue, 29 May 2018 13:00:00 +0100 https://gorillaaccounting.com/blog/choosing-best-umbrella-agency