Contractors Struggle With Taking Accounting Into Their Own Hands

Contractors are struggling to take accounting into their own hands, according to a new report from SJD Accountancy.

According to news from on Thursday (Oct. 19), an SJD Accountancy survey of 359 self-employed small business (SMB) contractors in the U.K. found that 72 percent perform their own accounting, with 69 percent of them noting that this causes them stress.

More than a third said the biggest stress when it came to doing their own accounting was the concern that they would make a mistake. Fifteen percent cited the time it took up, while 13 percent said the complexity of the process was the most stressful part. A fifth said that they were worried they would be fined due to financial accounting errors.

Researchers warned that these concerns may be well-founded, considering some of the mistakes these contractors know they’re already making.

The survey found that 17 percent of SMB contractors admitted they had lost receipts, and 11 percent said they pay too much tax. Eight percent said they made a late or incorrect payment to HM Revenue & Customs, and 7 percent said they missed a tax deadline, which led to a financial penalty.

SJD Accountancy also found that there were personal problems that arose from the stress of contractors performing their own accounting. More than a tenth said they were losing sleep, while arguments with friends, family and colleagues were also a common issue. Five percent said they had to turn down work so they could get their financial accounting finished.

“It’s a growing issue, too,” said Nick Rawlings, commercial director of SJD Accountancy. “There are currently 4.81 million self-employed people in the U.K., which is up from 3.2 million five years ago, and now represents 15 percent of all workers.”

“But it doesn’t have to be this way,” he continued. “Having a specialist accountant on board can free up your time to focus on what you do best: providing a first-class service for your clients and growing your business.”