You should look for an accountant who is qualified with one of the recognised accountancy bodies, such as:
- ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales);
- ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland) or
- ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).
Anyone who has trained and qualified with these reputable bodies will be in a good position to give you accounting and tax advice. You may also want to look out for an extra qualification with the Chartered Institute of Tax (CTA) and as a contractor working through your own Limited company you may want to look for an accountant who is also an accredited accountant with IPSE (formerly PCG – Professional Contractors Group).
After checking out the qualifications of your accountant you want to make some other checks, do you trust your accountant, are you sure they will be acting in your best interest?
Are your accountants acting in your best interest?
A number of agencies have links to an accountancy provider. If you have a dispute with your agency and need the help of your accountant will these accountants be acting in your best interest or do they receive so much business through agency referrals that you may not be at the top of their priorities? Worth considering.
Does your accountant know who you are?
Two of the largest contractor accountants have just been taken over by a corporate finance vehicle.
“Private equity firm Sovereign Capital has acquired contractor services specialist SJD Accountancy and online accounting practice Nixon Williams in a deal worth more than £100m”
The new businesses will probably be merged in time, cost savings made and possibly some of the accountants will be let go. Do you want your accountant to know about your life, your business aspirations and what you want to achieve?
For example, the husband of one of our clients was with one of the big contractor accountants included in this deal. He had money in his Limited company and his wife was starting a new business. In order to fund the new business he took many thousands of pounds of dividends, and paid thousands of pounds in tax.
With just a few simple questions the accountants could have found out the purpose of taking the money and suggested that the husband’s company lent the money direct to the wife’s new company as a loan; all the tax could have been saved. They could have also looked at setting up a group structure to allow losses to be offset.
If you want your accountant to act for you, with your best interests at heart then take a look at Clearways Accountants. We are independent of any agencies, owned by the partner with no big business shareholders looking over our shoulder.
If you would be interested in changing your accountants please give Clearways Accountants a ring on 01737 244298 or complete the contact form below.