It all boils down to a lack of confidence

And as far as Mrs May is concerned, quite literally so.

There is a limit that you can ask any living organism to hold its breath and we have been holding our breath on Brexit issues for over two years.

From a business perspective, this manifests as an unwillingness to invest. Why would you, when the terms of our future trading relationship with the EU remain unclear?

What can we be confident about?

You don’t need to be an economist to figure out that Brexit of whatever shade will likely cause a downturn in business activity. In the case of a no-deal Brexit, the supply chain disruption, at least initially, will be significant.

Planning for a worst-case scenario is not only prudent, it will improve business fitness. Even if things work out to be better than expected any time spent increasing liquidity and financial efficiencies will not be wasted.

Time for accountants to stand out from the crowd

Whatever your preference, surely we have a duty to keep clients up-to-date with the worst-case scenario – probably a no-deal outcome – and help them prepare by taking a close look at supply chain issues. For example, are you preparing impact assessments for vulnerable clients and revising business plans for 2019-20 and beyond?

What should we be doing now?

Without interfering with your present obligations, primarily to meet the SA deadline next month, there are a few basic, inexpensive things we can do:

  1. Send your business clients an easy to read summary of the issues they may have to deal with.
  2. Send your non-business clients an easy to read summary that covers how Brexit may affect their  relationship with the EU after 29 March 2019.
  3. Add accessible information to your website and keep it up-to-date.
  4. Visit or call clients that you know will have supply chain issues and offer to help them plan for any possible disruption.

No time to deal with this?

Take a look at the material I am making available from the Landmark site – BREXIT RESOURCE CENTRE – simply identify the clients you want to contact and send them the material I have written. Likewise, send your developer the code to add a Brexit video, risk assessment tool and/or other copy to your website.

Bored with Brexit?

Be careful not to drift into a victim stance with this process. How can you be bored by an event that will likely change the trading dynamics of the UK for years to come?

There is no point in blaming anyone. We are not powerless. We know what the basic downside Brexit risks are and we are still the right side of the 29 March withdrawal date to plan for these issues.

All it will take is a couple of hours planning.

Accountants Brexit resources

Bob Edwards

Bob has been working with practices across the UK offering novel ways to improve cross-sales and increase new client acquisitions. He is also interested in "step changes" in legislation that offer challenges, and therefore opportunities, for practitioners to provide new recurring and one-off support services to clients.

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