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New Code of Conduct for Umbrella Companies and Accountants

freelancesupermarket.com newsroom

RSS 23 November 2009
The SPA announced last Thursday that they have launched a code of conduct to cover businesses operating in the service providers sector. The new code covers umbrella companies and any business that provides support services to limited companies.

The SPA is an independent industry association that represents suppliers of employment, accountancy, payroll, tax, administrative support and other forms of advice to professional freelancers.

The code of conduct is aimed at encouraging best practice across the industry and has been welcomed by HM Revenues & Customs. The code outlines strict standards and legal guidelines that are applicable to service providers. Compliance with the guidelines will reassure freelancers that the organisation they are dealing with is professional.

Included in the code of conduct process is a requirement that one of the big four accountancy firms (PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young) will carry out an independent review of SPA members. These review documents will then be submitted to HMRC voluntarily.

A spokesperson from HMRC commented that the Revenue welcomed the move to self-regulate. By making a commitment to successful self-regulation and transparency in their dealings with HMRC, SPA members are taking a positive step in decreasing the burden of compliance and the Revenue is pleased to offer assistance on interpreting the law to those wanting to draw up a regulatory framework.

Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the REC, was also delighted at the news that SPA member umbrella companies will be required to sign up to a strict code of conduct.

Green said that this is a massive step in the right direction. The REC and a lot of the recruitment organisations we represent have been very dubious about the operating practices of some businesses. Not only will SPA members sign up to the code but it is rigorously reviewed by an independent third party who will then send the assessment outcome to HMRC. REC members and end user clients can then enjoy improved confidence when dealing with support companies.

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