Don’t miss out on the Brexit opportunity

I have just read Philip Fisher’s post on the Accounting Web entitled “The accountants guide to Brexit”. It’s a good read. In his intro Philip says:

Like almost everybody else in the country, the vast majority of accountants have been sticking their heads into the sand on the basis that leaving Europe was a long way off.

Well, it’s no longer a long way off and if the politicians on both sides of the Channel continue making progress at their present rate, we seem to be heading for a no-deal Brexit. Even if we succeed in achieving an agreed withdrawal process the exact details of our future trading relationship with the EU may not be thrashed out for years.

And in the meantime your clients will be uncertain about their supply lines and changing export processes to the EU.

In my opinion, this apparently “glum” outlook is a significant opportunity for UK businesses and their advisers. Philip continues:

While smaller practices with little or no international spread and work-forces who are British born and bred may feel that for them this is only a storm in a teacup that is unlikely to be the case in the longer term.

But if nothing else, there will inevitably be changes in legislation as a direct result of the decision made in June 2016. In addition, the economy will take an initial hit and that is likely to lead to indirect consequences including attentional tax hikes, difficulties in retaining and recruiting members of staff and the risk of client losses.

As there is now significant opinion that the UK economy is heading for a dip, however temporary, shouldn’t we be contacting business clients and suggesting that they consider two planning options before Brexit starts to bite:

  1. Undertake a formal impact assessment if a business currently buys goods from EU suppliers or exports to the EU, and
  2. Undertake a business fitness review.

There are no downsides to either of these activities. What they will do is place your clients in the best possible position to weather any Brexit discomforts and hit the ground running.

I’ll leave the last word to Philip:

As this series is likely to repeat on a constant basis, going into times of change with your eyes open is a major part of operating successfully. If your competitors are taking no action, while you can be seen as a leader at the time of great insecurity, then this could be a chance to succeed while others are struggling if not actually going bust.

Therefore, to reiterate, please make sure that you are ahead of the game so you can make the most of what need not be a threat and could be a fantastic opportunity.

Take a look at the Landmark Brexit Resource page

Help your clients and create a new income stream for your practice

Like to design your own Xero app?

Last year I created an app for Xero partner firms – Scoop – that allows practitioners to gather all of their clients’ Xero data and present it in a summarised format on one screen.

This year I’d like to develop the idea and to make it relevant to practitioners that use Xero with clients. Here’s what I propose:

Be party to the development process

Most of my clients use Xero and I have ideas for the information I would like to see on a regular basis to help me manage their businesses. But I don’t claim to have exclusive insights to what is useful in this regard so I’d like to open up the debate.

I’ve set up a questionnaire that lists a number of my development ideas. It will only take a couple of minutes to complete. It ends with a comment box so if you have ideas to share you can do so.

Development partners’ bonus

Every practitioner that completes the questionnaire will be offered a chance to beta test the new version of Scoop on a complimentary basis. As an additional thank you for you help in the development process we will extend this offer for three months free use of the finished product once the development changes are completed and Scoop plus is launched.

Tax and Xero

One of the issues I have with Xero, especially with corporate clients, is that it’s difficult to judge solvency – especially, if dividends are being taken without regard for the balance on reserves and corporation tax for the current year.

Accordingly, one of my ideas for improving the data provided by Scoop is to calculate a realistic estimate of current period CT liabilities and factor this information into the reports displayed by Scoop.

The existing version of Scoop will advise if a client is not registered for VAT and perhaps should be, based on current turnover. I intend to extend the VAT alerts to include a warning that continued use of a VAT special Scheme is compromised due to a possible breach of turnover exit levels.

Take a look at the Landmark Brexit Resource page

Help your clients and create a new income stream for your practice

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