Contracting in Glasgow

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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 Glasgow 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 for 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 Glasgow, find below a few details which you might find helpful.

Contracting in Glasgow

Glasgow is located to the west of Scotland on the River Clyde and is the country’s largest city, at the heart of one of the UK’s principal metropolitan areas. Its population is around 1.2m with a large catchment area that provides an easy commute for a further 500,000 people. It was recently voted as sixth in the Top 10 rankings for the Best City to Locate a Business Today, beating Edinburgh by two places. The traditional friendliness and openness of the people ensure that all people who are new to the area are guaranteed a warm welcome.

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.

Glasgow is a major centre for public administration, financial services, and tourism-related sectors and was rated as the best UK shopping centre outside the West End of London. At an overall level, the workforce in this region enjoys a reputation at the forefront of various sectors including science and technology, finance, tourism and the arts. Major industries include finance and banking, science and technology, tourism and public sector. Some of the key employers in the area include:

  • THUS plc (a Cable & Wireless business) – THUS began life in 1994 as Scottish Telecom, an offshoot of the privatised energy company Scottish Power. In 2002, it was demerged and this led to the creation of THUS Group plc, a holding company which owned THUS plc. Cable & Wireless completed a takeover of THUS in October 2008, but its name is still retained. The company is based in Berkeley Square in Glasgow and employs around 1,800 people.
  • Standard Life – This is a leading international long-term savings and investments company which includes one of the largest life and pension businesses in the UK, with more than 4 million customers. Established in 1825, it provides life assurance and pensions, investment management and healthcare insurance products to over 6.5 million customers worldwide, and has more than 10,000 employees around the world of which 8,500 are based in the UK. It has offices in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.
  • Clydesdale Bank – With roots back to its establishment in Glasgow in 1838, Clydesdale Bank has a proud history of innovation and support for Scottish industry and communities. It is now a member of the National Australia Bank Group which has over 7.7 million customers internationally. Its head office is in St Vincent Place in Glasgow.

Typical rates of pay for contractors do of course vary depending on individual skill-sets, but as a guide, an IT Project Manager in a Glasgow-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 Glasgow. It’s also worth keeping an eye out in the local papers, the Daily Record ( 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 Glasgow. On the downside, it has a slight perception of being a little ‘tougher’ than other cities, with some areas in need of renovation, and it’s a long way from, well, anywhere really – especially if you hanker to get back to London and the South regularly. On the upside, however, Glasgow has the largest retail centre and the largest public transport network outside London, with excellent transport links and short travel-to-work times. It is also easy to get to and from by road, rail and air.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games is being held in Glasgow and this provides a huge opportunity for contractors in the region. There will be a requirement for all types of people, across everything from marketing and tourism through to IT and construction. Key partners in this project include the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland, all of which are committed to delivering an outstanding athlete-centred and sport-focused Commonwealth Games.

The city also has ambitious yet tangible plans to grow tourism revenue by 60% by 2016 and to boost tourism-related employment to 40,000 in the same period. This not only provides opportunities for contractors in the tourism sector but also in construction and other related fields. Glasgow ‘Service with Style’ is a unique public/private sector industry partnership that aims to deliver the goal of a world-class customer service experience for all of the city’s leisure and business visitors.

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

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