Contractors make up over 15% of the UK workforce and their increasing numbers represent society’s shift in employment values. If your clients’ values are changing then so are there demands of you. It is important to understand what they want from you and how you can deliver it.
Cloud accounting software provides you with the perfect solution to deliver a high-quality service to your contractor clients.
Whether they need bookkeeping, payroll, personal tax returns or anything else, online accounting software is a necessity when dealing with contractors.
If you need to reacquaint yourself with the benefits of cloud accounting software, we wrote this article.
Just interested in learning how to help contractors? Read on.
Accounting for contractors: Who are they?
Before we get started on how to service this industry, it is important to know who they are.
The number of contractors operating in the UK has seen a sharp increase over the past decade. There are now around one and a half million contractors in the UK.
They are appealing because small business owners can outsource specific tasks to specialists rather than spreading themselves thin. There are also a lot of contractors in the construction industry, these are known as CIS contractors.
Whilst there are benefits to contract work, it’s not easy. Think of contractors as a one-person company. They look for work, complete the work and manage the business by themselves. Finding a balance between all three is challenging.
Contractors have a passion for their profession. They put their maximum effort into providing the service that pays their wages. This often means the compliance side of running a business is neglected. Let’s face it, nobody wants to do the work of an accountant. We’re all boring, right?
When a contractor decides to pass on the ‘boring’ work to an accountant, it is with good reason. They are looking to save time. Efficiency is key for a contractor and their relationship with an agent should reflect that.
So, if you are an accountant that deals with a lot of contractors, or an agent that would like to appeal to contractors, it is important to know what they want.
Put simply, they want an accurate and efficient service that provides value. But if you are an accountant how do you provide that? Here’s what you should do.
Accountants for Contractors: How to help your clients
Online accounting software : For contractors, the internet is their livelihood. The remoteness of their role makes them reliant upon the web. If you deal with contractors then cloud accounting software is a must. They are tech-savvy practitioners who look to technology to save them time.
- There is no need for time-consuming face to face meetings.
- Provides real-time data instead of quarterly updates.
- Can be accessed from anywhere on any device.
Take care of the boring bit: Compliance is a huge part of running a business. Making errors can be a costly mistake. Contractors trust their accountants to take care of the legalities.
HMRC’s new mandate, making tax digital (MTD) requires all contractors above the £85,000 VAT threshold to submit VAT returns online via virtual accounting software.
Make sure all clients above and near the threshold are MTD-compatible.
Make it simple: Contractors don’t have much spare time. Keep their admin duties simple by using a software that make it easy to manage their business. The software must be able to raise bills and automatically set reminders.
The changes to RTI require contractors to raise payroll every month. Use a payroll accounting software that keeps this process quick and easy.
Communication : In the digital world we live in today, there are no excuses for poor communication. Quick replies go a long way to calming your clients worries. If they don’t hear from you, they worry.
Meet your clients on the messaging systems that they use to conduct their business. Instant messaging app WhatsApp is very popular and useful for quick, concise dialogue.
IR35 guidance : This tax legislation can be difficult to understand. Provide your clients with expertise and within HMRC’s regulations.
If you have contractors as clients then you need a software solution that is agile and efficient. To see how Nomisma’s comprehensive software can help your practice, click here to start your free trial.