Advantages and Disadvantages of Contracting

Numerous reports point to increasing numbers of contracting opportunities, tempting an ever-growing army of workers away from permanent employment. The leap from permanent employment to contracting is certainly an exciting idea, but is it right for you?

Why should you consider contracting?

1. Greater flexibility:

When we ask our clients what they love about contracting, the improved flexibility on offer always comes up. We’ve all heard how permanent employees struggle to balance their work and personal lives. If you're contracting, the company you work for is your client, not your employer, which creates a very different relationship. You'll have a lot more control over when and where you work, and you'll also have more scope to negotiate working conditions, hours and payment terms. You'll also be able to manage and plan your finances in a way that suits you and your lifestyle, and as your circumstances change your working life can be adapted accordingly.

2. Increased earnings:

Due to their specialist skills and the flexible nature of their work, contractors often earn considerably higher rates than those offered to permanent employees. You could also take home more of your earnings, as operating through a limited company affords you tax and wealth planning opportunities that are not usually available to employees, and you can often offset business expenses to further reduce your tax bill. This all adds up to more money in your pocket.  

3. More opportunities for development:

Many people find that their permanent role fails to provide the challenge or opportunity they’re looking for. Opportunities for employees depend on the success and direction of their employer, and this lack of control can cause frustration. As a contractor, moving contracts regularly and working with other professionals, you’ll get to experience new environments and learn new skills, and you'll have more control over the direction of your career. Changing roles more often exposes you to different company cultures, approaches and processes and helps you develop personally as well as professionally. As your career develops and your network grows, you'll be in higher demand, which in turn will increase your potential earnings and give you more autonomy and flexibility.  

4. More generally:

Many contractors tell us they enjoy the variety of working in many different places, they find it more interesting and exciting. Working abroad becomes easier, and comes with a whole host a new learning opportunities, which will again make you more attractive to potential clients. Many also say their clients see them differently, and they're treated differently. There is no doubt that becoming a contractor could transform your working life. 

Is contracting really for you?

Given the advantages listed above, it may seem strange that anyone still opts for permanent employment. However, contractors do face some challenges and you should be aware of these before you make the leap.

1. Responsibility:

As a contractor, you sink or swim based on your own actions. It’s up to you to market your personal brand and source new contracts. Only you can make your business a success, and if it fails you only have yourself to blame. Some find it an exciting challenge to be going it alone, others find it stressful and isolating. Before you jump, you should consider which camp you’re in.

2. Uncertainty:

As a contractor, you’ll have no guarantee of further work when your current contract ends. If you’re satisfied there will be sufficient demand for your skills, then this shouldn't be much of a problem, as long as you can live with not knowing where you’ll be working from month to month. Again, many contractors find this exciting, and see it as a positive thing.

3. Downtime between contracts:

Contractors only get paid when they work, so you’ll need to make provision for time between contracts, when you won’t have any money coming in. You may find that you make enough money while you’re working to easily manage any downtime, and you may even look forward to it as a chance to undertake further training or take a well-earned holiday.

For many people, contracting is an attractive option and it’s easy to see why. For more information on making the move from permanent employment to contracting, please call us on 01296 468185 or email accountancy@orangegenie.com.

Why Orange Genie Accountancy?

Orange Genie Accountancy offers fixed fee accountancy packages to contractors and freelancers. Each client has unlimited access to their own dedicated approachable and friendly accountant. All Orange Genie Accountancy accountants are specialists in the contracting market, so they can give you bespoke, high quality advice.

We will always keep you informed about anything that could affect you and your company. Our relationships with our clients are extremely important to us so we'll be in touch often, whether it be face to face, over the telephone or email.

Our packages start at £75 + VAT a month for an online service. Our most popular package is £120 + VAT a month which provides you with your very own dedicated accountant as well as:

  • Unlimited accountancy support
  • Face to face meetings so we can get to know you and understand your contracting goals
  • Proactive contact
  • Director and employee payroll
  • Annual Return
  • Self-Assessment Return
  • A fully compliant service so you are safe in the knowledge that you are meeting your legal obligations
  • Access to the Freeagent Software, which is updated in real time so you can always see how your business finances are looking

​And much more, includingaccess to wealth management advice, IR35 reviews and pensions planning. 

If you would like to appoint Orange Genie Accountancy as your accountants please either fill out our enquiry form or give one of our friendly expert accountants a call on 01296 468 185 or email accountancy@orangegenie.com

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