Contracting in Edinburgh

Request Callback

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 Edinburgh 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 an 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 contact our new business team using the form below.

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

Contracting in Edinburgh

The Edinburgh city region is located to the east of Scotland – linked northwards to Fife by the world-famous Forth Bridges and stretching south to the Scottish Borders. As Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament and many functions of the Scottish Government. As well as it’s proven financial strengths, Edinburgh is Scotland’s primary tourist destination and the leading city of science. It is also one of Europe’s most dynamic and modern cities, yet steeped in culture and history.

The Edinburgh and Glasgow region is not only stunningly beautiful, but it also has a growing economy and global reputation for cultural excellence. All of which makes it an irresistible place in which to live and work. Only 46 miles apart, or 50 minutes by train, and located in Scotland’s Central Belt, the two cities and their surrounding areas have a combined population of 3.2 million. They also have an established commitment to collaboration, aimed at enabling the two cities to compete more effectively on the world stage. And with countryside and coast in such easy reach, both offer a very high quality of life.

The job market in this area represents a compelling mixture of opportunity and job security, and over the past few years, Edinburgh’s employment rates have reached an all-time high, surpassing those of any city in England. Edinburgh is ranked as the largest financial centre in the UK after London, with other major industries including science and technology, tourism and public sector. Some of the key employers in the region include:

  • HBOS (now part of Lloyds Banking Group) – This is the holding company for Bank of Scotland plc, which operates the Bank of Scotland and Halifax brands in the UK, as well as HBOS Australia and HBOS Insurance & Investment Group Limited, the group’s insurance division. It is the UK’s largest mortgage lender and its Scottish head office is located at The Mound in Edinburgh.
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland Group – This is one of the leading financial institutions in the world, employing thousands of people and serving around 40m customers across five continents – with 25m of those in the UK. RBS has more than 2,000 branches across the UK and its global head office in Edinburgh.
  • Heineken UK (formerly Scottish & Newcastle) – Heineken UK is the UK’s leading beer and cider business and is an operating company of Heineken N.V. (Netherlands), the world’s most international brewer. The company still has a large presence in Edinburgh, with its head office based at the Broadway Park site in the city. It employs around 4,000 people and also has around 2,200 pubs throughout the UK.
  • Virgin Money – has located its a new head office in St Andrews Square, Edinburgh ahead of its summer 2012 launch into the retail banking sector. Virgin Money will be recruiting up to 300 new people in Edinburgh.

Typical rates of pay for contractors do of course vary depending on individual skill-sets, but as a guide, an IT Project Manager in an Edinburgh-based job could expect to earn around £350 to £400 per day, whilst a less specialist contractor might expect to command a day rate of around £300 to £350.

Most UK-wide recruitment agencies carry a high number of Scotland-based contractor jobs, so they should be pretty easy to track down. Try all the usual options and then search for either position in Scotland in general, or specifically in Edinburgh. It’s also worth keeping an eye out in the local papers, with the Edinburgh Evening News ( being the most popular. Then of course at a national level, there is The Scotsman ( which also has a valuable jobs section on its website and The Herald Scotland (

There are a few pros and cons to working in Edinburgh. On the downside, it has a generally higher cost of living than other Northern UK cities, as it is such a major tourist destination. It’s also a long way from, well, anywhere really – especially if you hanker to get back to London and the South regularly. In the upside though, Edinburgh is a beautiful city and was awarded ‘Best Place in the UK to Live’, ‘Best quality of life in the UK’ and ‘Least polluted’ in recent surveys. Commuting times from the wider city region to Edinburgh are also significantly shorter than in most other UK cities.

There are a number of developments happening in Edinburgh which will provide opportunities for contractors in many sectors over the coming months and years. The Forth Replacement Crossing is one of these, a major infrastructure project for Scotland, designed to safeguard a vital connection in the country’s transport network. After many years of planning, the construction tender process for a new crossing commenced in Winter 2009 and it is expected to take until 2016 for completion.

Another major project is the ‘Transport 2030 Vision’ which aims that, by 2030, Edinburgh’s transport system will be one of the greenest, healthiest and most accessible in northern Europe. The programme of activity will include projects such as high-speed rail links, an expansion of the tram network, new cycleways and improved traffic management systems – requiring substantial investment in construction, and therefore provide opportunities for contractors in Edinburgh for years to come!

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 contact our new business team using the form below.

Request a Call Back

We want you to know exactly how our service works and why we need your details. Please read our Privacy Policy before you continue.