Are we braced for brexit?

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - Byzaraduffy Head­ofchar­tered Ac­coun­tants North­ernire­land

Ac­coun­tancy firms dis­cuss chal­lenges a head of busi­ness in a six-page spe­cial

It’s a time of huge un­cer­tainty within the lo­cal busi­ness sec­tor. The UK is due to leave the EU in less than six months. Due to our geo­graphic, so­cial and eco­nomic ties with the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land, North­ern Ire­land is likely to ex­pe­ri­ence the great­est im­pact of this de­ci­sion.

The ac­count­ing and fi­nance in­dus­try will be at the fore­front of help­ing lo­cal busi­ness to deal with the changes and chal­lenges. The year ahead will be an im­por­tant one for our econ­omy. It will shape fu­ture trade re­la­tion­ships, test cus­toms ar­range­ments and may bring new re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for many busi­nesses trad­ing with the EU.

The lat­est ru­mours sug­gest that a Brexit deal may be in sight, but a re­al­is­tic plan on how the bor­der will be man­aged has so far proved elu­sive. This, com­bined with the po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty over al­most two years, has made it dif­fi­cult for lo­cal busi­ness to plan ahead, pre­pare for the change and take ad­van­tage of what­ever new op­por­tu­ni­ties Brexit can bring.

At times of un­cer­tainty, it’s vi­tal that busi­ness can have con­fi­dence in their fi­nan­cial ad­vis­ers, and that those ad­vis­ers have the skills, ex­pe­ri­ence and train­ing to pro­vide im­par­tial, re­al­is­tic ad­vice.

It’s im­por­tant that busi­nesses en­sure that they use a reg­u­lated ac­coun­tant (for ex­am­ple a Char­tered Ac­coun­tant), with pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tions, ex­pe­ri­ence and in­tegrity.

When faced with un­cer­tainty, reg­u­lated ac­coun­tants can draw on a deep pool of ex­pe­ri­ence and rig­or­ous train­ing.

Busi­nesses need to be con­fi­dent that their ad­viser will pro­vide ad­vice which they can count on. When risk needs to be man­aged, reg­u­lated ac­coun­tants pro­vide strate­gic guid­ance and as­sur­ance which, in turn, gives a real busi­ness ad­van­tage.

It’s not just Brexit, of course. Other fac­tors such as au­to­mated in­tel­li­gence, big data and dig­i­tal dis­rup­tion are also trans­form­ing how we do busi­ness.

Again, ac­coun­tancy and fi­nance pro­fes­sion­als need to take a lead­ing role in how this change is man­aged.

The pace of change is as­ton­ish­ing, but it’s part of the role of the ac­coun­tant and fi­nance pro­fes­sional to an­tic­i­pate those changes ahead, and to en­sure that their client or or­gan­i­sa­tion is ready not just to sur­vive, but to thrive.

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