Best contractor accounting software

Chris Andreou

September 3, 2021

Best contractor accounting software guide
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Contractors

Software can go a long way in assisting businesses and accountants alike. Often an accountant will have a preferred software that they use which could be something bespoke they have developed themselves or something they love and trust off of the shelves.

Our accountants at Forma have tried and tested many different solutions with FreeAgent being the clear winner in the contractor accounting tool.

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Best contractor accounting software Guide

Best contractor accounting software

Software can go a long way in assisting businesses and accountants alike. Often an accountant will have a preferred software that they use which could be something bespoke they have developed themselves or something they love and trust off of the shelves.

Our accountants at Forma have tried and tested many different solutions with FreeAgent being the clear winner in the contractor accounting tool.

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When do you need accounting software? Guide

When do you need accounting software?

In the early stages of starting up your company, managing your accounts via spreadsheets may suffice.

But as your business grows, you may find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time on getting your business finances and accounts sorted out.

Perhaps you're not entirely sure if you should stick with our current practices-or seek out a new way to handle your accounting.

We'll explore this in our article below, where we dive into five signs that indicate it's time for small business owners to make the switch:

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Is a contractor an employee? Guide

Is a contractor an employee?

Contractors can be self-employed, a worker or an employee. Those who are employed through an umbrella company or an agency could be considered a worker or an employee.

If a contractor is a sole trader or runs a limited company, he or she will then be considered a self-employed person.

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Employing contractors Guide

Employing contractors

There are a few steps you'll need to consider with hiring contractors. These include:

  • Sourcing for contractors
  • Assessing contractor CVs
  • Interviewing a contractor
  • Payments
  • Contract terms
  • Terminating a contract
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What is subcontracting? Guide

What is subcontracting?

As an independent contractor, there may come a point in time where you need to consider subcontracting-you might decide to take on work as a subcontractor, or hire a subcontractor for your projects.

Whichever option you're exploring, how do you decide if the benefits truly outweigh the cons? And are there important tips you need to keep in mind?

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What are the different types of contractors? Guide

What are the different types of contractors?

There are different types of contractor jobs available across diverse sectors. Contractors may be hired to perform services such as:

  • Marketing
  • IT maintenance and support
  • Graphic design
  • Recruitment
  • Business development
  • Catering
  • Construction work
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19 Places to Find Contractor Jobs & Roles Guide

19 Places to Find Contractor Jobs & Roles

When you get into contracting, it can get stressful when your project end date is just around the corner and you haven't secured your next role. This amps up even more once you finish a contract and you're looking for your next gig.

As a specialist contractor accounting business founded by contractors, one of the key questions we get asked is about where to find roles. So, we decided to compile a list of some of the best contractor job portals, platforms, recruiters and consultancies.

If you have anything else to add then please let us know at info@goforma.com.

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What is a Contractor? Guide

What is a Contractor?

You've been thinking about making the leap from employee to self-employed. If contracting is one of the options you're considering, this article is for you.

We'll run you through the basics, including what it means to be a contractor, how it differs from full-time employment and the type of business structures that contractors typically choose.

Contractors are self-employed individuals who provide services to a business. Generally, they're highly skilled, and are hired for projects that require specialist skills or to bolster a team during busy periods.

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What are the disadvantages of contracting? Guide

What are the disadvantages of contracting?

The disadvantages of contracting are:

  • Uncertainty: Due to the flexible nature of their working relationships, contractors aren't guaranteed work after the end of assignment or project.
  • Responsibility: Not only is it the responsibility of the contractor to find work, they are also responsible for their own finances.
  • Employment rights: As a contractor, you generally wouldn't find yourself holding employment rights that permanent employees benefit from.
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What is an independent contractor? Guide

What is an independent contractor?

An independent contractor is an individual who is engaged in a work agreement with a company or entity as a non-employee.

Factors that identify an independent contractor are:

  • They have a greater degree of control over their work
  • They offer a special skill set
  • They are able to get a replacement
  • They aren't entitled to employment benefits
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5 Key Benefits of Accounting Software when Self Employed Guide

5 Key Benefits of Accounting Software when Self Employed

As a self-employed person or small business owner, sing a spreadsheet to manage your accounting may once have sufficed in the initial stages of running your business.

But as your company grows, the following occurs: your financial data becomes increasingly complex, you're adding on new accounts and you may be bringing on additional staff. You now require a scalable solution-and you're wondering if it's time to transition from spreadsheets to accounting software.

If you're still on the fence, and unclear about the value that an accounting software brings to your business, here are five key benefits you'll reap if you make the switch:

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Guide to employing or hiring contractors Guide

Guide to employing or hiring contractors

You have an important project at hand, and you require a contractor's specialist knowledge to fill in the skill gap in your team. You're ready to hire-except that you're unfamiliar with the hiring process.

If this is your first time hiring a contractor, our article will guide you through the essentials.

We'll cover the following:

  • Sourcing for contractors
  • Assessing contractor CVs
  • Interviewing a contractor
  • Payments
  • Contract terms
  • Terminating a contract
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Moving to the Cloud: Excel to Accounting Software Guide

Moving to the Cloud: Excel to Accounting Software

With the rollout of Making Tax Digital (MTD) in April 2019, it has become mandatory for all VAT-registered businesses to keep their financial records in digital format, and submit their VAT returns using MTD-compatible software.

While you can continue to use spreadsheets for your business records, you'll need bridging software to make them MTD-compatible. Here's a quick explanation of the term: bridging software is a tool that takes data from your spreadsheet, and "translates" the information digital in the correct format to HMRC's system.

Sounds complex?

Perhaps it's time to look into online accounting solutions that can manage your VAT processes within a single system.

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Where can I find FreeAgent accountants? Guide

Where can I find FreeAgent accountants?

You can do so using FreeAgent's ‘Find an Accountant' resource.

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What are the advantages of contracting? Guide

What are the advantages of contracting?

The advantages of contracting are:

  • Flexibility: Contractors have a lot more control over their work life often deciding when they work, where they work and how they work
  • Increased earnings: Contractors are often paid more due to their skillset and the flexible nature of their working relationships. Additionally, contractors who operate through their own limited company can benefit from tax efficiencies.
  • Greater development: Often working with multiple clients throughout their career, contractors are exposed to a lot of opportunities to develop their skills and build on their experience in their area of expertise.
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What banks does FreeAgent integrate with? Guide

What banks does FreeAgent integrate with?

Presently, FreeAgent supports over 40 feeds from banks worldwide. You may refer to their resource to see which banks are listed, or search for your bank using the search tool in the Banking area of FreeAgent.

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How do I become a contractor? Guide

How do I become a contractor?

To become a contractor, you need to:

  • Do your research: The first step you'll need to do is to conduct in-depth research, and think through various important factors-from finances and tax implications, to lifestyle and business opportunities-to ascertain if becoming a contractor is the right decision for you.
  • Decide on how you'll operate: As a contractor, you may operate as a sole trader, through your own limited company, or work with an umbrella company or recruitment agency.
  • Develop a business strategy: Strategic planning isn't set in stone-but working out a plan is still helpful, as it is a way for you to consider multiple perspectives, identify potential opportunities and pitfalls and conceptualise back up plans you could fall back on.
  • Get your business finances and insurance sorted out: Setting up a business bank account, registering a company, determining the level of accounting support you need and investing in business insurance are important aspects you need to sort out before you begin contracting.
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What banks does Xero integrate with? Guide

What banks does Xero integrate with?

Xero connects with most banks in the UK, including Barclays, HSBC, NatWest, RBS and more. You may view the full list of banks here.

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How to Become a Contractor Guide

How to Become a Contractor

So, you're thinking of becoming a contractor.

There's probably one of three reasons driving this:

You've received a Job Offer

You've just received a job offer, and now need to decide on whether to set up a limited company, umbrella company or become a sole trader (or you may not have the choice in deciding).

You're in the right place.

This guide will walk you through the best company structure for you, accounting support, VAT, business services you need to consider and finding new opportunities.

You want to increase your pay

You'd like to increase your pay by switching from permanent roles to interim/ contractor roles.

Contracting can be very lucrative.

You'll need to be comfortable with a certain level of risk (short notice periods), increased monthly admin (as a Limited Company) and less benefits than being an employee (paid leave, sick days).

However, you'll earn more, get greater flexibility and hopefully grow a consulting business.

Project Flexibility

Getting multiple requests for your services? Amazing.

Setting yourself up as a contractor through a Limited Company means you can start expanding your client base rapidly and work on different projects a few days a week.

You can still set this up as a current PAYE employee of a company, and this can be a great stepping stone to launching your own business.

Let's talk about the right business structure for you.

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How to Start Contracting Guide Guide

How to Start Contracting Guide

  • What is a contractor
  • Types of contractors
  • Contractor business structures
  • Contractor accounting
  • Understanding IR35
  • Contractor insurance
  • Banking for contractors
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