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Old 19.11.2009, 14:00
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Freelance Consultants - How NOT to get ripped off by intermediaries

Hello community,

Having posted before on the subject and promised to get back and report on my endeavors, here I am.
This thread is a follow-up of my previous one on the topic and several posts in the related threads .

First off, some background information: Anyone working in CH should factor in the fact that the mandatory AVS, insurance, etc charges will amount to ~25% of his/her gross contract per month. For example, if your consulting contract is 10,000 CHF / month, you can expect to see no more than CHF 7,500 flowing in your account gross of income tax. As there are many roads ahead, I will stop the intro math here [you may be tax exempt or taxable at source, or... ]

A lot of my fellow consultants see half or less than half of the contract amount going in, so you do the math how much your "handlers" make for their services or lack thereof.

After several months of searching and exchanging correspondence with numerous accounting/payroll/umbrella companies that can handle a freelancer's services and invoice a client on his/her behalf, I short-listed a few. Eventually, ended up with the one I hereby highly recommend after a couple of months' worth of personal experience.

ACCURITY is a company often mentioned in these forums, mostly for their tax calculator. There is so much more to these guys, I don't know where to start...

Short and sweet - they have two service packs for freelancers to pick from, costing you either 6 or 7 % of your gross contract. Add to this the mandatory 25% and you are looking at 31-32% of reduction on your contract amount with all charges paid. Their commission is reasonable, given you do not have to worry about any legal/tax/pension/regulation/reporting issues or setting up and handling your own company (and accounting and legal stuff). Their service is completely transparent, from start to finish: you can get a breakdown of each penny going backwards from the contracted amount to what flows into your bank account, to what goes in a 3rd pillar account for tax optimization, to what they get. You get access to your own account where you see all, you have a dedicated contact person who is following all queries instead of someone anonymous reading off a CRM log each time.

A word on the brilliant staff is due. Handling my affairs were Billie Waelte (Ms.) and Nicola Clothier (Ms.) - always kind and supportive, fast in their emails and pushing the paperwork forward. If and when you call there, rest assured these two ladies are top notch!

As this is already longer than initially intended, let me get to the naming and shaming of my former "handlers" - Vacancy.ch Stay clear of Vacancy CH which, for the hefty 30% margin they make on your contract, deduct the mandatory 25% and provide NOTHING but a wire transfer of the remaining 45% of your contract to your bank account. No support, no consulting, no tax optimization, no contact person, nothing, absolutely nothing. And that big fat nothing costs you almost a quarter of your gross contract pay *more* compared to the alternative of Accurity. Do not get me wrong - there is no such thing as free lunch and services have to be paid for. The question is why pay a third for nothing when 6-7% will get you great service and peace of mind?

I hope the above will help people who are in their search for a decent umbrella / payroll company to handle their affairs. Good luck guys and happy consulting!
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Old 19.11.2009, 19:06
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Re: Freelance Consultants - How NOT to get ripped off by intermediaries

I can't let this pass without wholeheartedly recommending Swisslinx in Zurich. The most important thing to say is that over several years, several clients and contracts of various origin I have been impressed by their honesty and openess. Of course these are good qualities to deal with but also values that I am very happy to be associated with in the mind of the client. In particular for each contract Swisslinx have been willing to disclose and clearly account for all the money that the client is paying. Of course I didn't always like the numbers, but they were available to be accepted, rejected or 'discussed'.

I guess I have to add that I have no interest whatever in the company except as a satisfied freelancer.
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Old 20.11.2009, 11:23
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Re: Freelance Consultants - How NOT to get ripped off by intermediaries

Thank you, GJOOFR for the valuable info. I should also not that I am in no way related to Accurity except I am a satisfied freelancer

The more info we have on companies with values and not pimps disguised as GMbH, the better!

Happy consulting
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Old 23.08.2011, 23:23
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Re: Freelance Consultants - How NOT to get ripped off by intermediaries

I would like to add my positive experience with Accurity and Fr. Wälte to the above. I recently had a client who was not sure they would contract directly with my company (an Einzelfirma), or if they were going to insist that I use a payroll company as an intermediary. To have my bases covered while trying to resolve the issue with my client I contacted several payroll companies. Accurity was by far the best. Fr. Wälte was very thorough in explaining and prompt in providing answers to my questions. The fee they were quoting was very reasonable compared to the other payroll companies I contacted. In the end, my client did sign the agreement directly with my company. I would have been very comfortable using Accurity if I would have had to, and would not hesitate to use them in the future should the need arise.
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Old 23.08.2011, 23:30
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Re: Freelance Consultants - How NOT to get ripped off by intermediaries

Has anyone tried Aldo Luck in Pfäffikon?
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Old 15.03.2014, 16:56
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Re: Freelance Consultants - How NOT to get ripped off by intermediaries

Hi

It is very interesting and informative post. I would like to add here due to bad management of vacancy, the company Vacancy.ch is out of business now.

Thanks
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Old 17.03.2014, 18:26
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Re: Freelance Consultants - How NOT to get ripped off by intermediaries

Very useful readup OP, thanks for the details. I've heard of Swisslinx as well, all good words from people who they recruited.
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Old 17.03.2014, 18:42
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Re: Freelance Consultants - How NOT to get ripped off by intermediaries

Another vote for Accurity, I was with them for a few years until an employer mandated change and I would not hesitate to go back to them.
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Old 20.03.2015, 15:12
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Re: Freelance Consultants - How NOT to get ripped off by intermediaries

Really trying to dig round this site, and would appreciate if someone can answer my question related to payroll companies.

My wife, who has just joined me in CH, is presently on a B-permit. She has been approached by an organization to do a short project for them - work payable on delivery. There is potential more projects could emerge in the future after this work. Would a payroll company, such as Accurity be able to handle this, are there ever any issues using them, connecting them with client etc.?

I am fully aware about einzelfirma's (which is our preference but might not be possible), but would love to know if there are reasons you couldn't use a payroll company, if our plan to set up a einzelfirma fails?

MANY thanks in advance!
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