Best Accountants for Financial Services Contractors
So, who are the best accountants for financial services contractors?
Well, that depends on a number of factors. Different accountants will suit different contractors. It depends on you and your business.
Relevant Accountancy Qualifications
Firstly, you should make sure that the accountancy firm has the relevant qualifications and expertise to be able to advise you well.
If they don’t have any other financial services contractors they will not be able to help you as easily as one who does. They will be learning in the job. Even worse they may even miss out on opportunities to save you money.
Even worse still they may even end up costing you tax penalties if they don’t have experience in financial services.
Know Financial Services Contractor Market
If they don’t have any contractors on their books they may not understand the effects on contractors of such legislation as IR35.
Ask them which services that they provide to contractors. Ask them if these services are bundled or unbundled.
You don’t want to be paying for services that you won’t need or use.
Decide which of those services that you would like and then ask the price of providing those.
Take References for Accountants
Take references for them. Ask them for contact details of contractors who already use them.
Of course, they will be sure to give you the contact details of contractors who like the service.
Nevertheless the accountancy firm do not know the kind of questions you are going to ask the contractor.
And we all know contractors. They tend to tell it like it is.
Find Out Who Will Do Your Accountancy Work
Find out, as well, how much direct contact you will be able to have with them after you joined up.
It often happens that the contractor speaks directly to one of the main Accountants before he, or she, signs up. Then he finds that his main communication after that is with one of the office juniors.
So, ask both who would be doing your work and who would be your point of contact.
If you prefer direct contact with an Accountant you’d be better to choose a smaller firm.
Draw Up a Shortlist of Accountants
After you ask the questions of accountancy firms, draw up a shortlist. Let them know that you are doing so.
Why shouldn’t they compete for your business?
They are the potential supplier and you are the customer.
If you have had an accountant previously and have hit problems ask the candidates how they would deal with a problem like this.
Ask them about previous problems their contractors have faced and how they have helped them solve the problems.
The more they know of problems the more they are likely to know of solutions.
As regards accountants fees, make sure that the first meeting that you have is free. If they want to charge you for that, saying that time is money, run a mile.
Time may be money but anyone selling anything must invest the time in selling to ther customer – without charging the customer for it.
If you went into a shop to buy something and one of the staff there helped you to find what you want, you wouldn’t expect them to charge you for their time.
You are almost certain to want to pay a monthly or annual fee to the accountant for his, or her, services.
If they want to charge you by the hour run a mile too.
Doing the Book Keeping to Cut Costs
Ask if you can do some of the book keeping work yourself if you want to cut some costs.
Some financial services contractors prefer to do this whereas others want someone else to do all the admin.
You may be able to buy some software to help you do some of the book keeping easily.
Ask your potential accountants for recommendations.
Choosing the Best Accountants for Financial Services Contractors
Make it reasonably important that you hit it off with the Accountant. It is much easier to deal with someone with whom you can get on.
Lastly, if you do agree a level of service with them, review it regularly to make sure that you are getting the level of service that you are paying for.
Remember that the best accountants for financial services contractors are the ones who suit the contractor best.
Choose the accountant who is right for you.
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