There are masses of umbrella companies out there! With so many to choose from, how do you know which one is best? We recommend you look for an FCSA accredited umbrella and then make your decision from there. It’s a great way to start your search. But you may be wondering – what are the benefits of using an FCSA umbrella company? Let us explain.
A quick background to the FCSA
The Freelance and Contractor Services Associates (FCSA) is a professional body dedicated to ensuring the supply chain of temporary workers is compliant and ethical. But what does this mean for you – the contractor?
To put it simply – if an umbrella company has earnt the prestigious FCSA accreditation, it’s a great indicator that they care about their clients.
The FCSA has contractors’ best interests at heart
Well, the FCSA make it their priority to ensure payroll providers are compliant, recruitment agencies operate in the best interests of their candidates, end-hirers are well-equipped to work with temporary workers, and payroll providers process the payroll of their clients in accordance with HMRC rules and UK tax law. Therefore, they work to ensure the supply chain of contractors and freelancers (like you) operates ethically, and you’re truly looked after.
The following is taken directly from the FCSA’s website:
“The FCSA operates a best practice Codes of Compliance designed to ensure that its Accredited Members provide services, advice and employment to the highest level of professional and ethical standards in the UK.”
Another good example of the FCSA representing contractors came to light recently in an open letter sent to Rishi Sunak. The CEO at the FCSA asked the Chancellor for more support for temporary workers who could not benefit from the furlough scheme. The FCSA even came up with a proposal that would help resolve the situation.
FCSA accreditation helps prove that an umbrella company is committed to compliance
For a payroll provider (contractor accountant or umbrella company) to obtain the prestigious FCSA accreditation, they must successfully pass a series of audits and assessments. It’s not an easy accreditation to obtain.
We recently wrote a blog called ’Who is the FCSA, and why does FCSA accreditation mean so much to its members?’ and it will help you understand just what a big deal FCAS accreditation is to its members. It’s well worth a read.
Compliance, and peace of mind
If an umbrella company has obtained FCSA accreditation, they’ve successfully been able to prove they operate compliantly. Every audit and assessment undertaken by the FCSA is disclosed to HMRC – so they’re free to have a look if they please. This shows that companies that achieve FCSA accreditation have nothing to hide.
Compliance is really important. Compliant umbrella companies will process their employees’ payroll using HMRC’s tax system Pay As You Earn (PAYE). This means the umbrella will send the tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) of its employees to HMRC on their behalf. This compliant payroll system ensures that every umbrella employee pays the correct tax and NICs, and removes the risk of any of them facing an HMRC tax investigation in the future.
Using an FCSA accredited umbrella company will help you stay clear of evil tax avoidance schemes. Please never be tempted to use a tax avoidance scheme because the repercussions could be severe.
Good customer service
Have a look at FCSA accredited umbrella companies. Most of them have an excellent reputation within the industry. As a result, they’ll almost certainly offer excellent customer service. We always recommend you carry out your own, thorough due diligence when choosing a payroll provider, but only look at FCSA accredited umbrella companies.
Top 10 umbrella companies
If you’re interested in using an FCSA accredited umbrella (good decision), have you checked out our top 10 umbrella companies? They’re all members of the FCSA, and some of them have excellent offers for new contractors on at the moment!
The Umbrella Companies website only features umbrella companies that have obtained FCSA accreditation (to the best of our knowledge).