As more and more professionals enter the realm of self-employment, it is important that the service providers behind such an expanding workforce are aware of the changes and constants in such a growing market.
We speak to contractor accountants Crunch, discussing rising industry sectors and of course that ever present existence of IR35.
Q: Contracting has being labelled as a ‘growing market’. How have you adapted to such an expanding industry?
The primary way we’re having to adapt is simply to take on more staff! We recorded 71% growth last year and we’re on track for a similar number this year – from our point of view this reflects not only a growing industry but also that existing contractors are becoming more exacting in their choice of service provider, and increasingly choosing modern, flat-rate services.
Q: Are contractors becoming increasingly conscious of IR35?
From what we’ve seen many remain blissfully unaware – but we’re obviously doing all we can to educate them! Awareness definitely varies by sector – IT Contractors in the City will know the IR35 rules inside-out, but a web designer working out of a studio down here in Brighton could very realistically have never heard of it – even though both are impacted equally.
Q: In your experience, for limited company contractors, which industry sectors are the most prominent?
IT remains huge. The public sector cuts a few years ago really hurt contractors, but thankfully the financial sector in the City remains strong and picked up a lot of the slack. We’re also seeing a surge of oil and gas contractors currently, which makes sense given the Government’s push for shale gas production.
Q: Do you predict any changes for contractors in 2014?
The services sector has seen the strongest growth of all areas of the economy recently and we expect that to continue, partially driven by freelancers and contractors. IT contractors and freelance developers will continue to be hugely in-demand as more companies make the move to cloud systems and services. As to IR35, who knows what the future may hold!
If anyone would like to ask any questions to Crunch directly, feel free to comment in the box provided and a representative will be free to comment.