Accounting Services For Freelance Contractors
by specialist contractor accountants
Whether you’re new to contracting or an experienced freelance contractor, your time is valuable and taxes can be very confusing and time-consuming. Warr & Co are experts in helping contractors get the most our of their businesses. Having been specialist micro business and freelance professional accountants since 1994, our team of directors are extremely knowledgeable and able to help you.
Many freelance contractors find themselves working with accountants who don’t take into account their particular circumstances, they are often offered a cookie-cutter style package by large firms with nothing specifically tailored to their requirements. Being a flexible, medium to large size firm we have the ability to create a custom-built package to suit your business. When working with Warr & Co you will be treated as an individual; your needs will be closely analysed, services provided to suit your requirements, and your finances will be improved upon as a result.
We offer our services to all freelance contractors, including but not limited to: IT Consultants, Management Consultants, Process Engineers, Legal Consultants, Locums.
Freelance Contractor Accountants
Our tailored service for freelance contractors can consist of a variety of professional accounting services, including but not limited to:
- Company formation
- Advice on bookkeeping
- HMRC registrations covering PAYE, VAT and Corporation Tax
- Advice on tax efficient share structure and remunerations
- Assistance with VAT and PAYE filing
- Assistance with financial planning including referrals to IFAs
We currently have two professional consultant account options available depending on how involved you’d like to be:
- The first option sees you taking a more hands-on approach, and you can pick and choose which professional services you’d like your accountant to undertake and which you’re happy to undertake yourself.
- The second option sees Warr & Co taking over full responsibility for your tax and accounting compliance with our popular Encompass Service.
Both services are supported by our director-led approach and unrivalled personal service levels.
Encompass For Contractors
If you’d be interested in having Warr & Co cater for all of your accounting requirements, you may be interested in our Encompass service. Encompass was developed specifically for the accounting requirements of freelance contractors – for a fixed monthly fee we can take control of all accounting, finance, taxes and VAT requirements so that you can focus on your business, secure in the knowledge that Warr & Co are looking after everything behind the scenes.
In addition, freelance contractors who opt for the Encompass service have their choice of our approved award winning accounting softwares, our Tax Enquiry Service, and access to a 24/7 business legal helpline at no additional cost.
Additional Relevant Information For Freelance Contractors
IR35 Advice For Freelance Contractors
IR35 status is something that concerns all PSCs, and affects all contractors, public or private sector. Determining and defending your outside IR35 status has never been more challenging than it is now.
Warr & Co can provide expert IR35 advice to all PSCs across all industries. We are well equipped to help you define and defend your IR35 status and always have our fingers on the pulse of IR35 legislation changes.
MTD Compliant Bookkeeping Solutions
As most contractors earn above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000), they are required to submit VAT returns online and keep digital bookkeeping records as of April 2019.
That’s why Warr & Co have developed good working relationships with the best cloud bookkeeping services available on the market. We currently have five recommended solutions, many of which are suitable for contractors, and we’re always more than happy to advise on the best solution for your unique set of requirements.
Remote Accounting Services for Contractors in London
London is the contractor hub of the UK, and whether you live permanently in London or just commute in for the right contract, we understand that it’s good to have all aspects of your business at a convenient reach wherever you are.
That’s why we set up our accounting services to be accessible from anywhere in the UK via phone, email and video call. Our online contractor accounting service is popular with PSCs based in and around London, so if you’re looking for that out-of-city level of service with the luxury of managing it all from your workplace, Warr & Co could be the accounting partners for you.
What Is Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Professional indemnity insurance is the most important type of insurance that your business should have if you are a freelancer or contractor. This type of contractor insurance protects you against claims made by clients.
Professional indemnity insurance will cover you and your business from the everyday risks that can come with being a self employed contractor or freelancer. Imagine a mistake has been made in a project you’ve completed in the past. Now imagine the costs that are potentially applicable in correcting that mistake and the loss your client could have incurred as a result – the bigger your client, the more you could potentially be liable for.
While it’s worth noting that these cases are rare, they do happen every year. Without professional indemnity insurance, you and your business are at huge risk with every new contract you undertake. Insurance is an affordable and tax-deductible safety net for your business.
Why Do We Recommend Professional Indemnity Insurance?
If an occasion should arise where you and your client enter a dispute over an error made, work standards, or expectations, your business needs to be protected from a potential claim. It’s worth noting that even if you are in no way at fault, a claim could still be made against your business – resulting in you having to defend yourself at your own cost.
Professional indemnity insurance protects you from some of the costs associated, which is why the team at Warr & Co believe this is an essential requirement for your contracting or freelance business.
Warr & Co have teamed up with Caunce O’Hara, freelance and contractor insurance specialists, to offer professional services to our client base. Caunce O’Hara, a top 100 independent broker, were selected by our board of directors for their expertise in the freelance contractor market combining decades of specialist experience. In addition, the team at Caunce O’Hara provide a 24/7 easy purchase option. Simply fill your details in to obtain a quote and click to begin your policy.
We can’t stress enough the importance of protecting your business with professional indemnity insurance. Please click the link below to visit Caunce O’Hara for a free no-obligation quote now.
*By clicking the link above you understand that you will be directed to a third party website. If you choose to proceed to purchase insurance products from Caunce O’ Hara, Warr & Co will receive commission for your purchase, and by clicking this link, you agree that Warr & Co Limited may retain this. For example should you purchase a professional indemnity insurance policy for £200 (net of IPT) Warr & Co would receive £15 as commission.
What Is A Tax Enquiry?
A Tax Enquiry is an HMRC investigation into your businesses taxes. Often this is not a simple process; the investigative team from HMRC may want paperwork and face-to-face meetings to discuss your business taxes.
Anyone can be subject to an HMRC enquiry, and you must comply by law. They can target any business they wish to and do not have to have a reason to target your business, meaning that they can open an enquiry even if you’ve done nothing wrong.
This is troubling for businesses, and especially small businesses. The cost of defending your company in a tax enquiry with HMRC is significant and can easily run into thousands of pounds, in addition it’s not unusual for enquiries to last months or even years. So you need a good accountant on your side to defend you and ensure no errors are made on your behalf throughout the investigation.
What’s Included In The Tax Enquiry Service?
Warr & Co will deal with all HMRC correspondence on your behalf, we will prepare and defend your case, and we will negotiate the best possible outcome for you wherever necessary.
Did you know? Even if you are not at fault and have had no errors in your business taxes, the costs of defending your business in an HMRC enquiry are not refunded. Unfair, yes, but that’s exactly why this add-on service is highly recommended to all of our business clients.
For one small annual fee, your business is covered in case HMRC decides to open an enquiry for your business. Whatever the outcome, you’re safest if you have our Tax Enquiry Service on your side.
We have plenty of information, including a downloadable leaflet about tax enquiries and pricing for this service, on the link below.
Q. What fees do Warr & Co charge for contractor accounting services?
A. We have a few payment options on offer to contractors. Firstly, we offer a tailored service in which you pay only for the amount of work necessary. The exact amount charged will depend on the services a client requires, but a contractor who maintains reasonable records, has a turnover under £100,000 and who draws a salary once a month from his company will pay, on average, £775 plus VAT for his annual accounts and £15 per month for payroll services. Extra charges will be made for other services that may be required such as completing VAT returns.
Secondly, we offer a monthly payment plan called Encompass, fast becoming the most popular option for contractors and SMEs. Encompass includes a wide range of services that we believe will be of benefit to your business. These include: access to your choice of cloud bookkeeping software at no extra cost, quarterly VAT returns, dividend documentation, accounts submission to HMRC & Companies House, Corporation Tax, Tax Enquiry Service, payroll (up to 2 employees with options to add more), auto enrolment, company secretarial services, annual return, registered office service, references and access to a 24/7 business legal helpline. For only £125+VAT per year Encompass often offers the best value in the long run for contractors and consultants. If you’d rather not spend your time on business admin, then Encompass is likely the best choice for you.
Q. What work do I have to do and how long will it take me?
A. We want you to deal with all aspects relating to you billing for your services and we want you to regularly record your financial transactions. We also expect you to retain prime accounting records such as bank statements and receipts. We can then help you with PAYE and VAT as necessary during the year. Most of our clients handle their own VAT but ask us to deal with PAYE. Your work on administration is likely to take about 1 hour per month.
Q. Will I have to file a tax return and, if so, is this something that you can help me with?
A. At present, HMRC require directors to file self assessment tax returns. Because you become a director when your company is formed, you will need to file tax returns. Many people starting a company already file tax returns and for most the process is not complicated. Nevertheless, about 70% of our clients ask us to assist them in this respect and we are pleased to do so. The fee for a straightforward tax return is typically around £200 plus VAT.
Q. How do I form a company?
A. By far the cheapest way of doing this is to do it yourself at companieshouse.gov.uk. The fee is just £15. Alternatively we can do this for you. We charge £150 plus VAT, and we provide advice on the share structure and provide statutory records complete at day one. We also then assist with your first VAT return at no extra charge. Here’s the form you need to complete if you’d like us to form your company for you.
Q. Should I involve my spouse or partner within the company?
A. This is ultimately for you to decide, but we will discuss this with you from a tax planning point of view and explain where appropriate the tax advantages of that person being a director, employee and/or shareholder.
Q. What if HMRC opens an enquiry into my accounts or tax returns?
A. This does happen from time to time and we know how stressful it can be – unfortunately tax enquiries are becoming more frequent. It can take many hours to compile the information and documents that have been requested, and many more to deal with the follow-up questions that HMRC will typically ask about a case. In addition, you may need your accountant to attend meetings with tax inspectors in order to settle the investigation. The costs of all these activities are your responsibility, even if you did nothing wrong in the first place and the case is settled in your favour.
Due to these factors, and taking into account that a tax enquiry could cost you upwards of £5,000 to completely resolve, we have introduced a Tax Enquiry Service into our service portfolio. One small annual fee will cover all of Warr & Co’s potential charges for an HMRC tax investigation. Read more here.
Please note, if you are a Warr & Co ‘Encompass’ client, the cost of the Tax Enquiry Service is included in your monthly fees and you are automatically covered, no need to sign up.
Q. What if I decide that your services aren’t right for me and I want to switch to another accountant?
A. Obviously we hope this doesn’t happen but if that is what you do decide, we won’t stand in your way and won’t try to bill you for any work not yet done. We will cooperate with your new accountant by providing all the handover information he requests in a timely manner.
Looking For Help Closing Your PSC?
Closing down your PSC can be a lengthy and confusing process, the team at Warr & Co are able to assist you throughout the process to ensure your solvent contracting business is closed correctly and in a tax-efficient way.
Member’s Voluntary Liquidation Service
Warr & Co can now offer a Member’s Voluntary Liquidation service via My-MVL, a specialist software provided by our partners at Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group. The My-MVL process provides a seamless online documentation process for our accountants and clients, which can be undertaken remotely – perfect for the current environment where face-to-face meetings are not advised.
Book A Free Freelance Contractor Accounting Consultation Now
by specialist contractor accountants
Contractor Accounting Client Testimonials
“Warr & Co have been my accountants for a decade and I have unhesitatingly recommended them to many of my friends and colleagues. Not only are the whole team unfailingly fast, efficient and personable, but Tim’s counsel has been sage and his patience endless every time I have needed some advice.“Simon Hall, How Lovely Ltd
“Warr & Co have been my accountants for many years and are always professional and personable, going that extra mile to deliver a service to suit me. I would recommend Warr & Co to anyone needing a top notch accountant/accountancy firm to maximise profits and minimise exposure.“I. Ranson, Ranson Associates Ltd
“Warr & Co are first class contractor accountants who genuinely understand the needs of small consultancies like Yukon Solutions. As well as providing all the expected accountancy services, Warr & Co have supplied excellent ad-hoc advice on matters such as financial planning and regulatory changes.“John Williams, Yukon Solutions Ltd