Most contractor accountants offer a fixed-price monthly package, which includes most or all of the tasks a limited company would need to keep their accounts in order.
Although what is offered does vary (and you should check with a prospective accountant to see what is included), here are some of the core tasks and duties you would expect a specialist contractor accountant to complete on your behalf.
Typical contractor accountant duties
- Form your new company on your behalf (if you have not already done so).
- Set up a new business bank account (if required).
- Register your new company for the various business taxes (VAT, Corporation Tax).
- Set up your company payroll, and register it with HMRC.
- Take care of all correspondence HMRC.
- Update Companies House with any changes to your company details, the share capital, or names / addresses of its officials.
- Ongoing book keeping (subject to receiving your transaction details on a regular basis).
- Preparation of your company’s annual accounts.
- Submission of your company’s Confirmation Statement (this replaced the Annual Return from 2016).
- Completion of your quarterly VAT returns.
- Completion of your annual PAYE returns (P11d, P14, P35).
- Providing references for renting or buying property (e.g. mortgage application).
- Providing advice on dividend administration.
- Providing advice on IR35 matters, including contract review and compliance if you are caught.
Alongside the services you would generally expect a contractor accountant to provide, you will typically be offered specific tax planning advice, completing of your self assessment form (often for an extra fee), and independent financial advice.
When looking for a new contractor accountant, make sure you know exactly what is included in your monthly package, and what extra costs apply for non-included services.