Fit and Flexible

Fit and Flexible

If you’ve spent the last few weeks trying and failing to make good on your New Year’s Resolution to get fit we might be able to help. It’s not always easy for contractors and freelancers to find time in already jam-packed schedules to get down the gym. And if you work from home, it’s not as simple as cycling to work, taking the stairs instead of the lift or getting off the bus a few stops early. But our businesses are only as fit and healthy as our bodies are, so how can contractors and freelancers make sure they get enough exercise?

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Choosing an Accountant

Choosing an Accountant

For contractors juggling busy work schedules, complex contracts and irregular payments, good accountants can be worth their weight in gold. Whether you are just starting out as a freelancer or if you’re an experienced contractor who’s dissatisfied with the service you’re currently receiving, we share our top tips on what to look for and the questions you must ask when choosing an accountant.

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The Slinky principle – When is the right time to expand your recruitment business?

Recruitment

A guest blog from Boomerang’s Paul Dewick:

Remember Slinky’s? They were essentially a long, very flexible spring that you placed on the top step of a set of stairs. Then you would slowly tip the top of the spring and, assuming you had positioned it right it would gracefully descend the stairs and settle at the bottom in a neat tube. If the positioning was wrong, then they would start well but gradually begin to slip off their centre of gravity and end up in a tangled disaster. In the worst-case scenario, the loops of metal would become irretrievably entangled, and you had to throw it away.

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Baby, it’s cold outside – running a home office

Home Office

It’s January, so the heating’s cranked up full blast and you’re having to work with the lights on. Most contractors and freelancers are aware that they can deduct expenses for running a home office from the profits of their business, but what exactly are allowable costs? This blog gives a quick rundown of the main things to consider and how to work out the numbers ahead of filling in your self-assessment return.

Exactly what you can claim depends on your business, your bills and how much and how often you work from home. We’d always recommend sitting down with a qualified accountant to help you crunch these numbers. But here’s an idea of some of the expenses that you might be incurring in the course of running a home office.

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10 things you might not know about self-assessment

Self-Assessment

It’s that time of year again! As every contractor and freelancer knows, January is the time to get those accounts straight, file your return and pay any outstanding tax. While we’re all familiar with the nuts and bolts of the self-assessment process, we thought we’d take a closer look at the bigger picture. So here are 10 things that you might not know about self-assessment. Hopefully you’re in the 52% of people who have already filed their self-assessment with HMRC – if so you can sit back and read the rest of this blog in a self-satisfied state of calm.

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New Year, Same Us – Customer Feedback

Customer Feedback

2018 was a great year for us (and our customers). We pride ourselves on providing the best possible service, and our feedback shows that’s exactly what we do.  For most, a new year is a chance for a new beginning. For us, it’s simply a case of doing more of the same. We’ve put a few brief snippets on the poster above for you to take a look at.

Want to see more? Head on over to our Feefo page to see our latest feedback: https://goo.gl/JD6KRX

Rail trouble – tips for commuting contractors

Rail Trouble

Price hikes and poor service have seen the UK’s troubled rail transport system hitting the headlines again over the last month or two. But until we master the power of teleportation, commuting by train is a necessary evil for many contractors and freelancers who need to visit sites or meet with clients. This blog offers some tips to make commuting less expensive and more productive.

Split tickets are quite possibly our favourite “life hack” ever. A quirk of the ticketing system in the UK means that splitting your journey in half and buying two separate tickets can work out far, far cheaper than buying one ticket for the whole journey. For example, if you need to travel from Birmingham to Reading and back, splitting your ticket at Banbury can save you nearly £60. There are helpful online tools such as Trainsplit to help you find the best ticket combos for your journey. You don’t have to get off at the intermediate station, though the train you travel on does have to stop there.

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New Years’ Resolutions You Might Actually Keep

New Years Resolutions

Another year, and here we are ready to be oh-so-well-intentioned and make those obligatory New Year’s Resolutions. I’m giving up sugar! I’m going vegan! I’m going to read a book a week for the whole year! Inevitably, by the third week of January we’re sat back in the pub, tucking into a mixed grill and a sticky toffee pudding, only up to page 53 of Great Expectations.

That said, a new year can be a useful waymarker on your self-employed journey. It can be a time to take stock, reflect on past achievements and look at the ways forward for your business. The key to New Year’s Resolutions that stick is to make them achievable, impactful and beneficial. Here are some ideas for resolutions for contractors and freelancers that might make 2019 less stressful and more profitable.

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Jobs to get on with over Christmas

Christmas

Christmas as a contractor or freelancer can be a time of mixed emotions. Yes, it’s a relief to have some downtime and spend a few days with loved ones. But as clients go quiet on us, paid jobs dry up until January and offices and sites across the UK close for the Christmas period, it can also provoke anxiety. Perhaps you’ve been canny this year and scheduled in some ongoing work to tide you over the quiet spell. Or perhaps you are planning on switching off the computer, sending the phone to voicemail and taking some well-deserved time off to scoff mince pies and wear novelty jumpers. But if not, how can contractors and freelancers make the Christmas period a productive one? Here we take a look at some jobs you can do to make best use of this time.

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The Contractor’s Christmas List

Christmas List

Dear Father Christmas,

We contractors and freelancers have been very good this year. We’ve finished all our jobs to the highest standard, completed our tax returns on time and still managed to see the kids and keep on top of the housework.

So, this year, all we really want for Christmas is…

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