REC advise their members to only use FCSA compliant contractor accountancy and umbrella providers

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has entered into a new working relationship with the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA).

Accountancy and Umbrella providers who hold REC Business Partner status must be FCSA Full Members, and the professional body for the recruitment industry is advising its own members to only work with firms who have passed the FCSA’s rigourous independent review process.

First Freelance, a London based firm of accountants, is a FCSA Full Member and one of four firms selected by the REC as an official Business Partner to it’s members for Contractor and Freelancer services.

FCSA Full Membership (not to be confused with FCSA’s self-certifying ‘Associate’ status) is widely regarded as the industry’s compliance ‘gold standard’ and the highest accreditation that Accountancy and Umbrella firms can achieve within the industry. This is because firms must pass an intensive audit against the stringent FCSA Compliance Code to qualify. Audits are carried out annually by a top-tier firm of regulated accountants and lawyers. The outcome of the independent review is shared with HMRC in a show of full transparency.

The FCSA Compliance Code and review process is designed to demonstrate to Government, as well as recruitment firms and contractors looking for a trusted and independently vetted accountancy or umbrella provider, that the firm operates to the highest standards of compliance and industry best practice, is financially stable, and provides high quality professional services.

REC chief executive Kevin Green said:

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 compliant members to minimise their risk. FCSA Membership is difficult to achieve, putting organisations through a robust assessment to check compliance with their strict Compliance Code. We are pleased to see that since 2008 the FCSA has become a significant player in setting standards and operating as an effective trade association in part of the market that has caused real concern for the REC and our members.

FCSA chief executive Julia Kermode said:

We are delighted to continue working alongside the REC, a highly respected organisation and the largest trade body in the UK recruitment market. Recruiters that are concerned about their liabilities should choose to work with FCSA Full Members to be assured of best practice legally and ethically. FCSA Full Members are easy to find as they are listed on our website and only they are entitled to use the orange FCSA logo.

Commenting on the announcement, Mark Beal-Preston, First Freelance managing director, said:

Being selected as an official Business Partner to REC members for Contractor and Freelancer services and as a FCSA Full Member, we are thrilled FCSA Full Membership and its rigorous Compliance Code has been recognised by REC as the industry standard for Contractor Accountancy and Umbrella firms. This announcement sends a clear message that compliance matters when selecting a partner to support the supply chain, and can only stand to raise standards across the industry. We are delighted that our own investment in compliance and best practice is being acknowledged and endorsed. We fully intend to continue to help recruitment firms and contractors protect themselves from the risks of non-compliance, particularly against the backdrop of HMRC’s increased scrutiny of the sector.

If you wish to eliminate risks to your business and contractors, now is an excellent time for recruitment firms to review their Preferred/Approved Supplier Lists to ensure they are working with FCSA Full Members. FCSA Full Members represent a ready-made PSL that is independently audited to the highest standards to protect against financial and reputational risks.

If you are a recruitment firm and would like more information about our services, please get in touch today. Our dedicated agency team is on hand to discuss how First Freelance can enhance, support and protect your contractors and business.

Call: 0207 148 1580

Watch the First Freelance video to see our special offer to REC members here.

About First Freelance:

First Freelance is one of the UK’s fastest growing contractor accountancy firms. Our experienced accountants specialise in tailored accountancy and support services for freelancers, contractors and self-employed professionals working in a wide range of sectors across the UK.

We work closely with recruiters to ensure that contractors are set up with an appropriate and compliant working arrangement or service. With a team of compliance specialists, we are able to advise recruitment firms on the tax laws affecting them, to help ensure that all parties in the supply chain are operating efficiently, legally and without risk.

We support and protect contractors and agencies through a combination of expert advice and award-winning technology. As well as being an FCSA Member and official business partner to the REC, we’ve also been awarded the Cabinet Award for Customer Service Excellence to contractors, freelancers and recruiters.

On first joining the FCSA as Full Member, Julia Kermode, Chief Executive of the FCSA, had this to say about First Freelance:

It is great news that First Freelance has been able to meet the extremely high standards required to become a recognised Member of the FCSA and I’m very pleased to welcome them on board. Also, they passed the review without a single amendment being necessary – quite an achievement. FCSA Membership is the quality mark every freelancer and contractor should look for when choosing a professional services company to advise them. Only then can they be sure that they will receive a reliable, responsible and robust service. I look forward to working with First Freelance in our mission to continue to raise standards in our sector.

On First Freelance being selected as an official Business Partner to the REC, REC chief executive Kevin Green said:

By bringing First Freelance on board we’re connecting our members to a team who can provide support with all of the processes around supplying temporary workers. We know that there are over a million people on temporary assignments on any given day, and it’s vital that best practice is upheld at all stages. We’re looking forward to working with First Freelance to help recruiters do what they do best.

First Freelance managing director Mark Beal-Preston added:

We are proud to have been recognised and selected by the REC for our innovative services and professional standards. The REC is aligned with our own values and commitment to integrity, good practice and compliance, so it’s a perfect fit with our firm’s aspirations. We are fully committed to providing outstanding support to REC members.

Published on: 09 September 2015 - By: First Freelance

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