Accountants for Social Workers

With demand for locum social workers at an all time high, demands on your time are likely to be even more so. As specialist accountants for social workers, we combine easy online tech with great support, allowing you to concentrate on your day to day contract without worrying about your finances. We already look after 800 of your colleagues so why not let us help you too.

We provide you with access to our unique online accounting app, which you use to administer your new business, invoice your clients, claim your expenses, and see what funds are available to withdraw from your business.  We’ll also give you a dedicated personal accountant who is there when you need them to guide you on how best to operate your limited company, and generally provide any guidance you need on using our accounting tools to manage your finances.

Boox are an ICAEW chartered accountancy practice, full members of the FCSA and accredited by IPSE.

Accounting for locum social workers

When you take the decision to move into contracting or self employment, you need to consider both the benefits and the drawbacks. Moreover, it’s vitally important that you get the right advice from the outset on how to get started and organise your new business. This is where we come in as accountants, and here’s how things work:

1. Making the jump into locum work

Once you’ve made the decision to start work as a locum, think about choosing an accountant to help advise you.  If you opt to join Boox, we’ll need approximately 15 minutes of your time in order to get started and set up your limited company.  We’ll incorporate your business for free – you only pay for your first month’s accounting fee, and then monthly by Direct Debit.

2. Getting a Bank Account

When your business is  incorporated, you’ll need to set up a business bank account.  You can generally bank with anyone you choose, but using one of our banking partners allows you to take full advantage of the banking functionality in our accounting portal.  If you need assistance with choosing or setting up a business bank account, then just let us know and we’ll be able to help.  Once your account is open, you’re all set.

3. Using our accounting tools

Whether you’re working through a recruitment agency or directly with end clients, you need to focus on fulfilling the terms of your employment contract.  We’ll then walk through with you on how to use our accounting tools, and following this training it should take you around 10 minutes each week to administer your business using our cloud based portal, invoicing your client for the work you’ve done, reclaiming any expenses you’ve incurred.

4. Tax efficient income planning

The main benefit of working through your own limited company is is that as a director of your own company, you can decide to take out income is the most tax efficient for you.  We’ll work with you to set targets for your business and you personally, and then we provide you with regular tax efficient pay advice outlining what you need to withdraw from your business account and what needs to be left in to cover your tax obligations to meet your targets. Your accountant is also on hand for any day to day queries you have about your business finances.

Running your own limited company

 Claiming your business expenses

When operating through your own limited company, you can claim back the costs of qualifying expenses you incur and pay for with your personal funds.  The types of expenses you can claim are often wider than those you can claim for when working through an umbrella, but it’s best to check with a specialist before making any significant purchases to make sure you can reclaim the cost. The expenses that you can claim are also impacted by whether your contract is caught by IR35 ( for example you cannot claim travel and subsistence expenses if your contract is caught).

Eligibility for the Flat Rate VAT scheme

You could benefit from an additional income stream via HMRC’s Flat Rate VAT scheme, although it isn’t right for everyone.  Click the link to read more about the Flat Rate VAT Scheme here.

Have complete control of your business

As a director of a limited company you are in complete control of your business. Whilst this brings with it certain obligations, you remain fully responsible for the company’s financial affairs, and is why it’s wise that you employ the services of a specialist accountant.

A separate legal entity

As a shareholder of a limited company, unless you have given personal guarantees or you have not operated the company in an appropriate manner, your liability is limited to the share capital you have put into the business.

Give your company a personal touch

You can have a bit of fun when setting up your limited company by choosing a unique name. There are a few restrictions on what you can and cannot call your company, but in going Limited, you both protect its name by law, and are seen as being more credible by potential clients.

Costs of running your own business

Costs of running a limited company are fairly negligible compared to umbrella services and operating as a sole trader. Choosing the right accountant for your business is one of the first decisions you will need to make, and costs in this area are now extremely competitive.


Whether your income is caught by IR35 or is outside IR35 will impact how much tax you pay and what expenses you can claim.  If you are working for one end client (whether or not through an agency) this will be a consideration for you as a locum social worker.

Help and Advice on the subject is available here and we can help you whether or not your contract falls within IR35.

We will continue to keep our social work clients informed of proposals to change the IR35 rules for public sector workers from April 2017.