Find a Job
380 available

Is IT Contracting a Solid Career Choice?

02 Feb 2016

Brightwater

Ireland has an enviable reputation as an IT hub and offers terrific job opportunities for permanent and contracting professionals. A steady supply of independent IT professionals (contractors) lowers both cost (financial and riskwise) to the employer without the loss of innovation.

Ireland has an enviable reputation as an IT hub and offers terrific job opportunities for permanent and contracting professionals. A steady supply of independent IT professionals (contractors) lowers both cost (financial and riskwise) to the employer without the loss of innovation. Contractors provide the core entrepreneurial expertise not readily available otherwise.

The contractor perfectly embodies the “Flexible Workforce”, undertaking projects throughout Ireland for a short or unspecified duration. Thanks to their expertise working on projects for some of the largest MNCs worldwide, the quality of Irish-based IT contractors strengthen our reputation of being able to complete projects both on time and within budget.

As an IT recruiter, I’m often asked by IT professionals if contracting is a solid career choice in terms of career enhancement and earning potential. There are many reasons to choose contracting but for me, flexibility of choice and financial reward are the main ones. Not only do contractors get more money than their permanent counterparts, but you can take advantage of increased financial control in terms of what can be expensed and what counts as core salary.

Financial Responsibility
As a contractor, you are solely responsible for looking after your financial affairs. Unfortunately, due to lack of knowledge, IT contractors have ended up with either a shortfall in their salaries or an unexpected tax bill due to an under-declaration of earnings to Revenue. This is where outsourced providers really come into their own.
Accounting Service Providers who specialise in the Professional Contractor Sector began to appear some years ago. Providing a service to contractors, they offered to look after the finances of those in doubt about whether to take the sole trader/limited company option. However, some of these providers were not as compliant as they should have been and there was no real system of regulation and qualification. Contractors were in danger of being penalised/prosecuted by the Revenue Commissioner for improper finances. This led to the establishment of the PCSO in 2014.

What is the PCSO and what is its main purpose?

The PCSO Professional Contractors Services Organisation is an organisation made up of accountancy Service Providers and it has two principal aims:

1) To bring greater conformity to Accounting & Taxation Services to the Professional Contractor sector.
2) To promote Professional Contracting to the Irish Economy for both the multinational sector and indigenous Irish business sector.

The PCSO is developing a code of practice for service providers in this sector to provide increased assurance around tax compliance. The PCSO has engaged with government agencies and a wide range of stakeholders, in order to have an attractive, tax-compliant environment for professional contractors and their client companies.
They have engaged with Revenue, and over the last 18 months have been working on tackling the whole area of travel and subsistence needs. With these measures in place the country is better positioned to develop entrepreneurship, create jobs and collect appropriate taxes while, at the same time, making the marketplace fairer for responsible contractors.

With Icon Accounting and Mac Accounting amongst the founding members of the PCSO, I feel confident that this will give greater assurance to our Contractors, their clients and also to the Revenue Commissioners. This will promote Ireland as a great place to do business and show the world that we have a flexible workforce that is operating in an efficient and compliant manner.

If you’re an IT contractor and want to talk about the best option for you, contact me on 01 662 1000 / d.smyth@brightwater.ie. Alternatively, let’s connect on Linkedin.