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Why Tristan Pretty chose PayStream over a high street accountant

Steven Cheeseman

Steven Cheeseman | Senior Digital Marketing Executive

Thursday 6th Feb, 2020

There are a lot of benefits for contractors choosing a specialist contractor accountant over a high street option. Tristan talked to us about why he chose to switch.

Choosing an accountant can be difficult for limited company contractors, as you’ll often find the high street accountants just don’t know enough about contracting to be useful. However, there are plenty of specialists out there who can provide you with the help you need.

Tristan Pretty recently found himself in an unusual position. Despite falling outside IR35, he had such a bad experience with his high street accountant that he decided to make the switch to PayStream’s My Max umbrella service in the hope it would alleviate the problems he had with his previous accountant. But could PayStream encourage him to go back down the limited company route?

We recently sat down with Tristan to find out why he decided to make the switch to us, and the difference he’s seen since.

"It's like night and day. I'm not an accountant and I don't know what's going on at HMRC. PayStream simplify it for me in a way that's easily digestible. They answer emails promptly. If something will take two minutes to explain on the phone rather than emailing back and forth for two days they'll do that."

1. What problems did you have with your high street accountant?

He wouldn't answer emails, so I did a lot of chasing, chasing and more chasing. I'm not in prison for not paying my taxes or anything, so he did enough! But he wouldn't answer the questions I had. It got to the point where I'd get a letter from HMRC and I'd ask him: 'So what does this mean?' And he wouldn't reply.

 

2. What action did you decide to take?

Because of him, I thought I'd just close the company. I picked a random umbrella company - I literally Googled umbrella companies and picked one of the top ones - and went from there.

 

3. Why did you choose PayStream?

I got another contract and the client said: 'If you use this other company - PayStream - it's just easier for us.' I thought that a company's a company from my perspective, so I moved to PayStream’s My Max Umbrella service.

 

4. What made you decide to go back to running a limited company?

Even though I fall outside IR35, when I used a high street accountant I got annoyed with all the paperwork which is why I decided to use an umbrella company. However, PayStream were just so communicative. They answered questions within two or three hours, most of the time, but always within 24 hours. They were really helpful, really nice, and I thought you know what? Let's give it another go and see if it's worth the switch back to limited. And they've been great so far.

 

5. How does PayStream compare to your old high street accountant?

It's like night and day. I'm not an accountant and I don't know what's going on at HMRC. PayStream simplify it for me in a way that's easily digestible. They answer emails promptly. If something will take two minutes to explain on the phone rather than emailing back and forth for two days they'll do that. The human touch is very different.

 

Everyone’s experience is different, but at the same time there are a lot of contractors who go through a very similar process to Tristan. They choose a high street accountant because it’s cheaper however they soon realise that when it comes to a high street accountant vs an accountancy service that specialises in the way that contractors work, you get what you pay for. You can find out more about his journey by reading his case study here, or get in touch to find out how you can switch over to PayStream on 0161 929 6000 or you can email newbusiness@paystream.co.uk .

Read our full interview with Tristan Pretty in our PDF download.

Read the full case study

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Related article - Why Scott Foreman switched to PayStream

We recently sat down with one of our umbrella employees to find out what influenced his decision to switch over to PayStream’s My Max umbrella service over the other options that were available to him,

Read more here
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