SJD Accountancy

IT contractors and IT interims easy to confuse for clients

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The results of an online survey conducted by the Interim Management Association have revealed that there is some confusion amongst clients over the difference between IT contractors and IT interim employees. After collecting and collating data over the course of five months in the latter half of 2014, the results have shown that 83 per cent of those who responded believed that end clients did not ‘fully understand’ the distinction between the two.

Of the people who provided their insights for the survey, 825 believed that many companies were unsure of whether an IT contractor or interim was needed for any given job and that many entirely failed to distinguish between the two. Only 177 of those who took part believed that clients did actually understand the difference.

As a result of the difficulty that has been unearthed by this survey, the IMA has provided a definition of both roles in order to clear up the misunderstandings that seem to abound throughout the industry. Although there is some degree of crossover in terms of the kinds of roles available, there are some distinctions which can usually be relied upon to help recruiters establish whether a contractor or interim would be more appropriate for any given position.

Their definitions aim to promote the value of interim managers to businesses in the UK in order to ensure that time and money isn’t wasted in recruiting for interim positions which would be better suited to a contractor and vice versa. They have highlighted the fact that IT interim roles are usually high level management positions which are ideal for those who have the skills to provide advice and implementation for businesses which need their expertise.

Contracting roles, however, are usually for those who have a specialist skill or experience in a specific area which is required for the delivery of projects. Contractors usually report into middle management rather than senior management and have clearly defined roles with precise specifications and goals. The good news for contractors is that they will usually be offered an increase in rates if they are needed beyond the term of their original contract, whereas interim managers usually have to take a pay cut if they want to stay with the same company after their initial term in post.

If you are unsure as to whether your skills and experience is better suited to contracting or interim management, then you can use the definitions provided on the IMA website to ascertain which area you would be best placed to seek work in. Our guide to becoming an IT contractor includes everything you need to know about finding work, managing your finances and keeping your records up to date. We also have plenty of information on contractor tax and contractor expenses so you can ascertain what can and cannot be included on your tax return.

For more information on our services and how we could help you to establish yourself as a contractor, our New business team on 01442 275789 or email for details.


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