Contractor Accountant – Do You Get What You Pay For?

Contractor Accountant

Are you a contractor or freelancer who isn’t sure how to answer the question as to whether or not you get what you pay for from your contractor accountant? Can you be sure that you really do get what you pay for from your accountant? What is it you should expect from your accountant? Do you know? Below are some pointers.

Agreement

I suppose the first thing to do is to look at the contract or Agreement you signed with your Accountant. Tick off everything you’re getting for the price you agreed, and if you don’t feel you’re getting everything you should, then give the firm a call and discuss your grievance.

Before you registered with your Accountant I assume you met up with her or him and discussed your needs, agreed the services that were applicable to you, and the price. I hope you left that meeting feeling as if you’d met someone who would really add value to your business.

Work only with a Qualified Accountant. Did you use the RARA concept?

Regulated

Your Accountant should be your company’s rock, the financial anchor of your business. Anyone can call themselves an “accountant”, but your Accountant must be regulated under one of the accountancy bodies in the UK.

Accredited

Another assurance is to see whether your Accountant is accredited with a professional organisation such as IPSE, as this is validation that the firm is respected widely in the industry.

Recommended

Another way of ensuring your Accountant meets your expectations is to get a recommendation from a colleague, friend, or family member.

Award-winning

And another thing, ask about Awards: is the accountancy practice that promised you so much the winner of any Awards?

RARA: Regulation, Accreditation, Recommendation, and Awards, this concept will give you added peace of mind which will help you get what you’re paying for from you Accountant.

Importance of Technology

These days, online bookkeeping and accounting software ought to come as part of the package your Accountant has on offer. She or he should be able to work with you on your accounts in real time and give you access to a receipts app to easily manage receipts. You should expect your books and accounts to be available in real time and for the same software to be compatible with your bank (to download statements) and with HMRC. This is at the very least nowadays; technology has revolutionised accounting and should have revolutionised the accountancy practice you choose to work with. Technology is a must.

Dedicated Account Manager

Being assigned a dedicated Account Manager, along with online bookkeeping and accounting software, now that is a truly empowering combination! You should expect to be assigned a named individual who looks after you and your accounts. Of course, this individual is going to manage a number of clients, but you’ll be just as important as any of the others: your queries should be answered quickly and your concerns should be addressed promptly. Hopefully, evening and weekend meetings can also be arranged, and you’ll always be able to get through on the phone. If all this is true, then you might well feel that you’re getting value for money from your accountant.

Regular, bulletins, blogs and newsletters

Regular blogs, newsletters, and bulletins, which keep you informed about changes in tax law and offer some interesting ideas about how to save tax and remain compliant and keep you updated and informed. Okay, so your Accountant is responsible for ensuring that you pay the right amount of tax, but it makes sense for you to learn about some of the changes too along the way even if you don’t know the detail of the legislation.

Hopefully, having read this, you’re closer to answering the question of whether you feel you’re getting what you pay for from your contractor accountant. I’ve given you some pointers about what you should expect, and shared the RARA concept with you. Below are another four benefits that are available:

  • Free access to the world’s most sophisticated marketing system
  • Unlimited IR35 reviews
  • A guarantee of satisfaction, and
  • A no-penalty guarantee

Get in touch to find out what we offer; where all clients feel they get what they pay for from their contractor accountant.

About the Author: Sumit Agarwal
A specialist accountant and tax adviser for freelancers, contractors and small businesses since 2005, He is an expert in business growth and development strategies. A renowned tax expert for owner managed businesses and contractors, He won the British Business Forum’s Young Entrepreneur Award in September 2012, presented at the House of Commons by MP Vrinder Sharma.