Here is some free advice – listen up!
Choosing an umbrella company can be stressful. With so many to pick from, how do you know which umbrella company is best for you? Essentially, umbrella companies are the same – they process your payroll. However, there are plenty of things that vary between providers. Our website is here to help you make an informed decision. And, most importantly – it is your decision. However, we would like to share one piece of advice that we believe is more valuable than any other, and it’s this – make sure you choose an FCSA accredited umbrella company.
We believe the FCSA’s prestigious accreditation is a big deal – and we’ll explain why below.
Who is the FCSA?
The Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) is the UK’s leading professional body dedicated to making sure that the supply chain of temporary workers (contractors and freelancers) is compliant and operates in accordance with HMRC’s rules and regulations. There isn’t really much more to it.
Why do we value the FCSA?
Before we go any further, we must make it clear that the FCSA is not paying us to write such a glowing report on them. We are in no way associated with the FCSA, we have not been in communication with the FCSA, and finally, we do not want anything from the FCSA for endorsing them.
Right, now we’ve made it clear we’re getting nothing in return for writing about the FCSA, here’s why we value them so highly. We thought a little bullet-point list would be perfect:
- The FCSA is the most recognised industry body in the UK, and the most respected. There brand is well respected amongst recruitment professionals, government bodies, payroll providers and temporary workers. Their accreditation is effectively a quality stamp of approval, and it means a lot to a lot of people.
- Their accreditation is not easy to obtain. Umbrella companies and contractor accountants must be able to prove their operations are entirely in line with HMRC rules and regulations.
- Once a provider has obtained FCSA membership – they cannot afford to be complacent. Every year, they must undergo a series of assessments to ensure they haven’t let their standards slip, and to ensure they remain compliant.
- Here’s something that we think is really neat – once a provider is assessed, everything that is found is reported directly to HMRC. How about that for genuine transparency!?
- The FCSA’s Codes of Compliance are public and available for all to see. You can see for yourself what businesses that have achieved FCSA membership have had to adhere to.
- They work closely with stakeholders to rally together and confront HMRC with any problems that arise. The FCSA makes it their duty to ensure compliant providers and honest contractors and freelancers have their voices heard. We highly recommend you keep up to date with the FCSA’s latest news to see what they’ve been up to.
- The CEO of the FCSA is independently appointed by members, which is great because it means it’s impartial, with no commercial conflict of interest.
- FCSA accreditation is taken seriously by umbrella companies and contractor accountants – trust us. Have a look at the websites of accredited companies. They will almost certainly have a page and blog dedicated to their accreditation, and how happy they are to have earned it. It means a lot, and we believe it rightfully opens many doors for their business.
- They make it clear that they’re here to help. On the FCSA’s website, they confirm that any “contractor, recruitment agency, or end-hirer choosing to work with an FCSA Accredited Member is assured that the member operates at the highest industry standards for the benefit and protection of the supply chain.”
The FCSA makes your life easier
The FCSA makes picking an umbrella company way easier. After all, we cannot stress enough the importance of selecting a compliant umbrella company. And, if the FCSA has undertaken a series of assessments and audits of providers to ensure they’re compliant – picking an FCSA accredited provider is a great place to start, and already makes your life so much easier.
Work in recruitment? Here’s a tip to save yourself a huge amount of time…
If you work in recruitment, collating a Preferred Supplier List (PSL) can be a nightmare. After all, it’s imperative you refer candidates to compliant providers. If you don’t – you could be seriously punished by HMRC in accordance with the Criminal Finances Act 2017.
To make sure you only have compliant providers on your PSL – hours and hours of due diligence is required. You must be able to prove you’ve individually assessed every company on your PSL, and that you’re satisfied they’re fully compliant. Sounds really difficult, but here’s an idea…
Have you considered basing your PSL around companies that have obtained FCSA accreditation? We read a lot, and it appears more and more recruitment agencies are figuring out this easy way to manage their PSL. Not only are you saving your agency precious time, you’re also offering your candidates a reliable list of contractor accountants and umbrella companies. We’ll let you decide if this is a win-win situation, but we think it is.
FCSA accredited umbrella companies
FCSA accredited contractor accountants
For a list of FCSA accredited contractor accountants, please visit our Contractor Accountants Directory.