Contractor accountants Aberdeen

SJD Accountancy is the UK's largest firm of contractor accountants providing tax advice to over 15,000 contractors, all of whom work through their own Limited company.

We have offices in Aberdeen and across the UK and have won more awards for customer service and accounting excellence than any other firm in the contractor accountant sector, including three Accountancy Age Awards, six Contractor UK 'Best Contractor Accountant' reader Awards and two National Customer Service Awards.

What's more, all clients receive their own dedicated accountant* who they can meet, call and email all for just £120 plus VAT per month.

The first thing contractors usually think of when looking for an accountant is to find a local ‘high street’ company, but they are rarely specialist contractor accountants, so may not have knowledge of specific schemes which can benefit you as a contractor. There are also telephone only and internet based contractor accountants, however we have always felt it's far better for clients to have their own accountant that they can meet up with even if it's just once a year to discuss their business and personal financial goals. Tax is complicated and sometimes there is simply no substitute to meeting with your accountant face to face. Your accountant needs to understand your goals and to be able to provide the highest level of tax advice, something we just don't feel can be archived purely via a telephone/internet only relationship. Sure we could cut costs and reduce fees by closing offices and going telephone/internet only but this would ultimately reduce the level of service we provide. It's also interesting that most telephone and internet only companies aren't really that much cheaper anyway.

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new business team on 01442 275789 or email

If you're just starting out contracting in Aberdeen, find below a few details which you might find helpful.

Contracting in Aberdeen

Aberdeen is a vibrant, modern city which is full of life and surrounded by everything from tranquil countryside to a wide range of adrenaline-packed outdoor opportunities. It has a rich and inspiring history, a dynamic modern arts scene and perhaps Scotland's strongest industrial heritage. Combined with a great range of shops, award-winning cuisine and excellent nightlife, Scotland’s third largest city is cosmopolitan, lively and an excellent place to live and work – as more than 210,000 people from all around the UK can already attest to.

The city’s name is literally translated as ‘between the Don and the Dee’ - Aberdeen's two bordering rivers, which create a beautifully ‘Scottish’ backdrop to a historic and culturally-rich city. Thanks to its famous sparkling granite buildings, the Aberdeen skyline is certainly one of the most recognisable in Scotland, whilst the surrounding areas of Aberdeenshire are home to some of the most stunning scenery anywhere in the UK.

Aberdeen is definitely the oil and gas capital of the UK, thanks to its position as the ‘gateway to the North Sea’. Over 20,000 onshore contractors are based in the area and there are numerous companies in the city which have grown through their links to this highly lucrative industry. Other major industries include construction and tourism.

All of the major oil and gas players (for more information about oil and gas contracting click the link), and many of the minor ones, have offices in Aberdeen, including oil companies such as BP, Transocean, Shell and Total, plus service companies like AMEC, Halliburton, PSN, Aker and The Wood Group. Nearby Westhill is also home to Acergy, Subsea 7, Technip, Baker and Schlumberger. Some of the key ones include:

  • Chevron Corporation - One of the world's leading energy companies, with interests in nine oil and gas producing fields in UK waters. Offshore operations are run from a new office complex in Aberdeen, which was set up to provide research, development and technical services for Chevron worldwide. Over 100 technology professionals are based here
  • Petrofac - An international provider of facilities solutions to the oil and gas production and processing industry, with more than 11,500 employees around the world, many of which are based in Aberdeen.
  • ConocoPhillips - An international energy company which employs more than 30,000 people. Its head office is in Houston, Texas and its main non-US bases are in Aberdeen and London.
  • ExxonMobil - The world's largest publicly-traded international oil and gas company,  responsible for approximately 10% of the UK's total oil and gas production. It operates the largest refinery in the UK, serving 1m customers every day.
  • Talisman - A global oil and gas company and the leading independent operator in the UK, with headquarters in Canada and a large presence in Aberdeen.

As Aberdeen has a requirement for such specialist contractors, the average rates of pay for contractors are somewhat higher than elsewhere in the UK – outside of London. As an example, a contractor specialising in the oil and gas industry could expect to earn anything up to £750 per day depending on the role. Contractors in less specialist roles will probably command day rates of around £400 per day, so still well above average.

Recruitment agencies in Aberdeen are a little different to anywhere else in the UK as the region is so heavily focused on the oil and gas industry. Good ones to try are RHL Recruitment, Kin-tech Recruitment and Technojobs. It’s also worth keeping an eye out in the local papers, and the best read ones are probably the Press and Journal which has a ‘hot jobs’ section on its website, and the Aberdeen Evening Express.  

There are a number of developments happening in Aberdeen which will provide opportunities for contractors in many sectors over the coming months and years - and most specifically in those sectors which are involved in, or support, the construction industry. Some of these include the Aberdeen airport expansion, Aberdeen Crossrail, the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, the Shiprow Aberdeen City Wharf Development, Pittodrie Stadium, Trump International Golf Links and the Aberdeen Sports Village.

There are a few pros and cons to working in Aberdeen. On the downside, many still fail to see the ‘sparkle’ of the Granite City and feel it is still a bit ‘gritty. It’s also a long way from, well, anywhere really – even the rest of Scotland’s cities are still a good couple of hours away. On the upside though, there are loads of opportunities for contractors with specialist skills in the oil and gas or construction industries and it is also one of the most ‘well off’ cities in the UK outside of London, based on average earnings. Add a vibrant city with excellent nightlife and beautiful countryside on your doorstep and what more could you ask for?

For information on other regional contracting guides, see the links below (we will be adding more guides over time):

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new business team on 01442 275789 or email