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10 reasons why recruiters should choose FCSA compliant contractor accountants for their PSL

Compliance has always been a primary consideration for recruitment businesses. With more legislation changes ahead, it is now more important than ever to review your current arrangements with providers and to put in place a compliant Preferred Suppliers List (PSL), which covers contractor accountants and umbrella companies. By implementing a compliant supply chain, you are projecting both yourself and your client from all significant business risks.

Selecting the right contractor accountants for your PSL is crucial as making the wrong decision can not only damage your company’s reputation, but could result in sanctions from HMRC.

You can however mitigate these risks by choosing to work with only contractor accountants who are FCSA Accredited Members.

Our Accredited Members adhere to a Charter which outlines minimum standards and requires the business to operate legally; but for them to qualify for our Accredited Member status, they have been audited to confirm that they adhere to the FCSA Code of Compliance. This stringent test of their business operations, which is carried out by leading accountancy and legal firms, is a clear commercial differentiator.

We therefore like to think of our Accredited Member contractor accountants as your readymade preferred suppliers list.

Here are 10 reassuring reasons why recruiters should choose FCSA compliant contractor accountants for their PSL:


1. Transparency – All contractor accountant clients are subject to a detailed assessment of their needs prior to engagement and all fees that are to be charges are fully disclosed. This ensures that the individual receives best advice to enable them to make an informed decision as to what is best suited to their needs.

2. Tax Planning – All contractor accountant clients are advised to use only payroll and dividend tax planning in relation to their income. This means that FCSA Accredited Members are not involved in anything “weird and wonderful”.

3. IR35 Assessment – All contractor accountant clients are offered the option to have their contract status assessed. This means that the individual is aware of their responsibilities with regard to IR35, has the option to receive best advice, and therefore be able to make an informed decision.

4. IR35 Client Confirmation – All contractor accountant clients are requested to confirm IR35 status in relation to the submission of their accounts and tax return. This means that the individual is required to consider their IR35 status and make an informed decision.

5. Fees – Fees received from the client are for services provided and not related to their own trading. This is important in terms of MSC legislation; the recent case concluded that the provider was too “involved” as their fees varied according to whether the individual was working or not.

6. Tax Payment – The contractor accountant does not pay the clients’ tax, they are responsible for this themselves. As a company director the individual is legally responsible for the tax affairs of that company.  It is also important in terms of MSC risk; if the contractor pays the tax then they could be seen as too “involved”.

7. Involvement – The contractor accountant does not control the client’s bank account. Essential that the client maintains control of their bank account as it is their company, not the accountants.  This also minimises MSC risk.

8. Professional – No tax submissions are made without review and confirmation by the client. The individual is responsible for their tax affairs, therefore must review and confirm any submissions before they are made.

9. Independent Audit – All contractor accountants are subject to an annual independent compliance audit by the FCSA which is carried out by regulated accounting and legal firms. The audit is undertaken by external assessors to minimise any potential conflict of interests. The audit is undertaken by regulated assessors so that FCSA is assured that they cannot pass the audit unless they actually do meet those standards.

10. Transparency on Audit – All audit report findings are shared with HRMC for full transparency. This means that HMRC know exactly who our Accredited Members are, i.e. which firms meet the standards set by FCSA.

Therefore, when you next review your PSL we would encourage you to choose to work with contractor accountants who are Accredited Members of the FCSA. 

Don’t just take our word for it

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), the largest trade association for the UK’s recruitment sector, also advise their members to use FCSA Accredited Members:

“We are happy to recommend to all REC members who use or are looking to use a third party supplier of contractor accountancy or umbrella services, to use FCSA Accredited Members to minimise their risk.” – Kevin Green, CEO of REC

FCSA Accredited Member status is the only accreditation recognised by all of the UK’s leading industry bodies including REC, APSCo and TEAM.

Would you like to find out more about the FCSA?

We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your compliance team to tell you more about the FCSA. Contact Julia Kermode, FCSA Chief Executive to arrange a meeting on

This content was developed by Ltd in conjunction with the FCSA Marketing Team.”