Are you Brexit ready?
Don’t worry – we know the answer already. It’s a resounding ‘no’. How can you be ready? How can any of us be ready for the likely upheaval of leaving the EU when we haven’t a clue what it will involve or when (if at all) it will happen.
But – the chances are that the next 6 to 9 months will see us parting company with the European Union. With the imminence of such a significant politico-economic step, what should you be doing to prepare a recruitment strategy for your Accountancy Practice? Not an easy question to answer. But let’s give it a try.
Opportunities for accountants
Preparing for all eventualities is tricky and not without cost – not just for your Practice. Clearly, your clients will themselves be feeling the strain of pervading uncertainty.
So many businesses are delaying decisions, whether about venturing into new markets, investing in new premises or equipment or hiring new people. However, all the analysing, planning and analysis of options will undoubtedly bring opportunities to the accountancy profession.
If Brexit does go ahead, whatever its colour, your clients will need plenty of hand-holding. As legislation is passed, new tax regulations come in, VAT rates change, your clients will be relying on you for advisory services, maybe even training.
You’ll be able to support them with guidance on the likely financial and technical impacts of Brexit, as well as compliance.
Your job now is to highlight how you’re different – how you’re ahead of the game, poised to offer essential services that your competition hasn’t begun to even think about.
In the last recession, many businesses looked for new professional advisors – either in search of fresh ideas or as a cost-saving exercise. Many companies found that moving from a large Practice with high fees and an impersonal service to a smaller firm was beneficial.
Many forecasters fear that an early consequence of Brexit, especially if it’s of the ‘no deal’ variety, will be a period of recession. The expertise that your Practice can offer to your clients could be invaluable. Taking advantage of up-to-date management information technology, using forecasting and modelling, your colleagues will be perfectly placed to advise your clients as to the best way forward. They’ll be able to advise them how to take control of the uncertainties and understand their options. This consultancy service you offer, if delivered well, will, not only help to protect your clients’ businesses but will also increase client loyalty.
Cash Flow Forecasting
As the management information modelling suggested above, one of the key services you’ll be able to offer is cash flow forecasting. There are so many apps available now that will enable your clients to do this for themselves. However, only with the help of a professional can a business truly understand the implications of the forecast and build resilient plans for the future.
Technology – Artificial Intelligence
Advances in technology, such as AI and machine learning will almost certainly have a role to play in reducing the need for human management. Brexit may well provide for you a potential new revenue stream, overseeing how your clients navigate their way through digital changes. Your clients are increasingly being pushed to accept and embrace technology. Making Tax Digital (MTD) is just one example. Another is AI-powered invoice management systems.
A time of opportunity
What scares businesses and accountants alike is fear of the unknown. Clearly, Brexit is a pretty big unknown. However, within this ‘unknown’ lie massive potential opportunities for your Practice. Your clients will need your support. You can prepare by ensuring that you have in place sufficient accountants skilled in implementing these new technologies.
This is a great time to be an accountant – a time of opportunity. A time for you to prove your value to your clients, to establish how you can provide meaningful, value-added services.
Here to help
Make sure your Practice is Brexit-ready by supporting your clients to be Brexit-ready. Make sure you have the people in place to put your Practice in pole position.
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