Guide to selecting an umbrella accountant

There are so many umbrella accountants out there, and all of them will give you mouth watering reasons why they are the best, which makes it so hard to pick the right one that can truly meet expectations.


Selecting a good umbrella accountant is really daunting, but now that you are here, those days are over. If you follow this guide to the letter, you will be able to easily choose an umbrella accountant that isn’t only going to meet your expectation, but eventually surpass it.

  • The first and most important step to pick a good umbrella accountant is to do your research. I know this is obvious but a lot of people underestimate the impact it has on the final decision. Do your homework; it will expose you to the truth about these companies that you don’t usually see on their public profiles.

Start by googling them, then visit forum websites and search for posts concerning these umbrella accountants. Then ask reputable contractors and colleagues to hear their opinion.

  • Make sure you go for a well-established umbrella accountant. There are thousands of them out there and new ones are starting up every day, so be vigilant.
  • Go for an umbrella accountant that has a fixed fee structure. If the fee structures are not clear, it is a sign that their fees will be linked to your rate, which will turn out to be very expensive.
  • Run away from umbrella accountants that say you can claim expenses without receipts, it’s a time bomb waiting to blow up your bank account into pieces.

When authorities like customs and HM revenue carry out investigations, the company will be in trouble and you will be required to pay up all the tax owed.

  • Have it in mind that all umbrella accountants work under the same customs and HM revenue guidelines, so if they are making unreasonable promises that look too good to be true, you’re looking at a dishonest umbrella accountant, and it’s best to not do business with them.
  • Any umbrella accountant that issues penalties for leaving early should be avoided like a plague. This is why you should do through research; they may not show this on their public profiles.
  • If you notice any requirements like entry or exit payments in an umbrella company, just mark it as the very company you mustn’t get involved with.
  • Make sure you speak to a real person from the company, don’t just have an automated relationship. Speak with them on the phone and find out if they have service agreements. Also ask if you will have a special account manager assigned to you to prevent the annoying situation of having to explain yourself to a different person each time you call.
  • If you are new to contracting, don’t fall for the temptation of cheaper online-only umbrella accountants, you could lose more than that money when problems arise. Also take advice from those who have been in the umbrella company net business for a long time.
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