Celebrating National Freelancers Day!

Intouch celebrate National Freelancers Day with IPSE

We’d like to wish the UK’s freelancing and contracting community a very happy National Freelancers Day! Today is all about celebrating the contribution you and your colleagues make to the UK’s economy and recognising your talents and professionalism through the leading body for independently employed professionals – IPSE.

 

This year’s event sees a new format as the day has been redesigned and extended to give practical advice on how to be on top of your game. With a day full of interactive workshops, seminars, networking, advice sessions and the IPSE-QA Freelancer Awards for the UK’s best independent minds, IPSE is making the event at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden the one to attend for those looking to further their self employed success. And the icing on the cake is that the event is free of charge!

 

#NoFreeWork

This year’s event focuses around the concept that contractors and freelancers should say no to completing any work free of charge. It’s a subject which we also feel strongly about, as your time is precious and should never be taken for granted. For tips on how to ensure you get what you need and want from your contracts, check out our latest blog as shared with Women in Technology. We’ve also recently blogged about tips for preventing late payments from clients and what action you can take when payments are late.

 

Who are IPSE?

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) currently represents over 67,000 contractors, freelancers and consultants from every professional sector of the economy. Run and owned by its members, IPSE is a non profit organisation, whose main purpose is to educate and empower its members.

 

With a wealth of knowledge, professional advice and support, IPSE is the EU’s largest association for the self employed.

 

How can IPSE help you?

IPSE offer two membership packages that many contractors and freelancers consider an essential must-have to complement their career. Find out more details and take advantage of a 10% discount for a new IPSE membership.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Intouch teams up with IPSE to offer membership discount to clients

Intouch teams up with IPSE to offer membership discount to clients

Intouch Accounting is delighted to announce that from today, any client who starts a new membership with IPSE can benefit from a 10% discount, year on year.

 

Who is IPSE?

IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, is the largest membership body supporting contractors, freelancers and independent professionals. Their goal is to enable you to succeed in business.

 

IPSE membership

IPSE offers Standard and Plus memberships and now, with Intouch, you can get a 10% discount when you sign up for a new membership. You can pay through a monthly direct debit or a one off annual payment, it’s up to you, and the discount will apply for a long as you’re an IPSE member. As a member you will have access to a whole range of benefits to help protect and defend your business as well as discounts to help you save hundreds of pounds a year.

 

Don’t forget, you can claim membership costs as a business expense. Speak to your contractor accountant about how to do this.

 

A bit more detail

IPSE membership offers you peace of mind and money in your pocket so you can focus on running your business without worry. Highlights of what you’ll get include:

 

  • IPSE protect to help you out when you need extra support
  • thousands of consumer discounts on items such as Apple products, Dell and HP hardware, software, gym memberships, and cash back in many high street stores
  • IPSE representation as they lobby government and across industry to ensure contractors’ voices are heard
  • help planning for your future as well as negotiated rates for pensions, life assurance and private medical insurance
  • IPSE library so you can access all the resources you need
  • access to events, webinars, workhubs, online training and, if you’re a Plus member, 24/7 access to virtual Ashridge providing a wide range of online business resources to learn new skills and improve existing ones.

 

You can find out more about what you’ll get for your membership here, including a quick link to get you on your way to signing up or speak to a specialist membership advisor by calling 0208 8979970 or email intouch@ipse.co.uk.

 

Join IPSE today and take advantage of the 10% discount straight away.

 

What else?

If you’re already an Intouch client, once you’ve signed up for your IPSE membership, don’t forget to refer a friend and we’ll send you £150 Amazon vouchers if they sign up with us. Recommend another and we’ll do the same again! And again and again!

 

If you’re not already with Intouch, this is another great reason to speak to us today about joining. Give us a call on 01202 069 551 or email us and we’ll get back to you at a time to suit you!

 

* excludes renewals or upgrades to existing memberships

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Contracting the key to a successful and family-friendly career

Contracting: the key to a successful and family-friendly career

Over the last month, I have been exploring the subject of women in contracting in conjunction with IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (formerly PCG). The four-part series ran on the IPSE website and, I hope, has given a confidence boost to anyone considering making the leap into contracting.

 

I have long held the belief that women hold the key to a wealth of untapped potential in the contracting industries. From high-flyers in the IT sector taking advantage of a new recruitment focus on women, to the so-called ‘Mumpreneurs’ joining the 1.2 million self-employed women in Britain, it seems there’s never been a better time for women to start contracting.

 

Getting started

For anyone who has not considered contracting before, or is unsure where to start, in the first of our ‘Women in Contracting’ series, I outline some of the potential benefits and key advantages, including:

  •  greater freedom and control over working conditions
  • financially lucrative contracts
  • flexibility and more work-life balance
  • maximising take home pay through tax efficiencies

 

Of course, it’s important to do your homework. Anyone considering a move into contracting should first decide on a trading model. You may wish to remain employed and contract through an Umbrella company or set up a Limited Company and be employed by it. In both of these instances, you may still ‘feel’ as though you are self-employed even if you are not on paper. The alternative option is to go self-employed as a Sole Trader.

 

If you are unsure which is the right route for you, our popular guide Limited Company or Umbrella – which is the right choice for you? explores the different trading models available to you.

 

Life as a contractor can, at times, feel a bit remote. However, there are a large number of online business communities and support groups such as IPSE’s Women’s Freelance Network (WFN), set up to help, advise and encourage women contractors.

 

Family planning

If you are thinking of starting a family, or are currently on maternity leave, contracting can be a great choice for your return to work.

 

In the second article in the series, I discuss some of the advantages to planning ahead. By starting your contracting career before you have a baby, you can build up contacts, get your financial systems set up and take advantage of the potential for a higher take home pay.

 

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, around 54,000 new mothers are being forced out of their jobs in Britain each year. It’s perhaps no wonder then that the number of freelancing mothers is a growing UK trend, up 100,000 since 2008 according to IPSE research.

 

The key to juggling a contracting career with being a working parent is to find reliable support and put your business systems in place early on. Key considerations include:

 

  • You’ll need flexible childcare due to the often ad hoc nature of contracting.
  • A good contractor accountant will get you started off on the right foot financially, as well as helping to navigate the ins and outs of tax legislation.
  • By joining a membership body such as IPSE, you can help protect yourself or your Limited Company as well as receiving additional support and expertise when you need it.

 

We are an IPSE accredited accountant and any Intouch client who wishes to start a new IPSE membership can benefit from a 10% discount.

 

Back to school

As children grow up, parents often find their career needs change again. In article three, I explore the challenges faced by contracting parents once their children start school.

 

In some ways older children are more independent and, if you work from home, it gets a bit easier to juggle. In other ways, however, there are new challenges to navigate, such as the school run and fitting in extra-curricular activities to an already stretched work-life balance. This is where a career in contracting or freelancing really comes into its own, as you can usually dictate your working hours and location, enabling you to work around the school pick up or other family needs.

 

I spoke to Hannah Martin, co-founder of the Talented Ladies Club – a website for working mums wanting to balance career with family and which now has 30,000 visitors monthly.

 

Hannah said: “Freelancing is a fantastic career option for mums. It enables you to use your skills and experience on your terms – choosing who you work for and when and where you work. You can slow work down in the school holidays if you wish, and take on more contracts in term times. I can’t think of a more perfect set-up.”

 

Reduce work-family conflict

In the final part of the series, I show how contracting can be a future-proof career choice, adapting through different life stages to reduce the work-family conflict often experienced by working parents.

 

This is not just an issue affecting mothers. A new study by the British Sociological Association found around 58% of male breadwinners – those who earned more than their partners – would like to work fewer hours and spend more time at home, even if it meant taking a pay cut.

 

Contracting can help both parents to improve their work-life balance, enabling more time to be spent with the children or even freeing up time to retrain for a career change.

 

Make the change

If you are considering a switch to contracting or are already contracting and want to find out how you can get the most benefit from it, give our experts a call on 01202 375 562 or email us.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Intouch Accounting celebrate National Freelancers’ Day

Happy National Freelancers Day!

If you’re one of the five million freelancers currently working within the UK, then today is all about you. Here at Intouch Accounting we recognise the invaluable contribution freelancers make to the UK economy and so we are helping celebrate by having a ‘freelancer day’ at the Intouch office.

 

Whilst the Intouch team are blissfully happy looking after the needs of our clients, we wanted to have a bit of fun and celebrate today in our own way. So we put our heads together and decided to come in dressed as the freelancer we’d be if we weren’t accountants!

 

Take a look below to see if you can guess what each person would be:

 

National Freelancers' Day

 

 

Every year NFD is celebrated and hosted by IPSE and this year’s event will be held at the exclusive Hospital Club in Covent Garden to showcase and celebrate the UK’s most ambitious, exciting and aspiring freelancers. IPSE will be awarding 15 of the best self-employed individuals and crowning one winner in particular.

 

There’s also a separate award for under 23s (the Aspire Award) and one for the veteran freelancers (the Inspire Award). The winner of the Aspire award will win £3,000 along with a technology bundle and the winner of the Inspire Award will win £5,000!

 

From all of us here at Intouch Accounting we’d like to offer our best wishes for all who are taking part and many congratulations to the winners and runners up. Have a fantastic night everyone!

 

If you’re considering freelancing or have already taken the leap, ensuring that you maximise your take home pay whilst remaining compliant will be at the top of your priority list. If you’re struggling with doing your accounts by yourself, or are currently using an Umbrella company that’s leaving you out of pocket, call our team today on 01202 375 562 to discuss your options.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.