While uncertainty continues to surround BREXIT you might welcome a more stable bridge to guide your direction of trade
As uncertainty continues to surround Brexit, more prudent advisers will be encouraging their clients to prepare for all possible outcomes.
Even if you consider the direct impact of Brexit on your business to be negligible, there could be knock-on effects from the impact on your customers and/or suppliers. Preparing your business now rather than later, could make all the difference in the months ahead.
It is sensible to consider Brexit a business risk like any other. In this way it can be planned for and contingencies put in place, even if they are not ultimately needed.
With this kind of broader thinking that we advocate at GSM, you will be best positioned, having considered all known eventualities. And working together, we can meet both direct and indirect impacts with greater confidence, as they present themselves.
So your accountant has a role to play now and post Brexit.
Right now they should contemplate all scenarios on your behalf and advise on how best you can manage the risks and uncertainties your business might face.
The extent to which your business is affected by Brexit will depend on individual circumstances and how you assess the implications. And this will direct how it is dealt with in your accounts.
All areas of your accounts which are subject to judgement and/or estimation have the possibility to be affected by Brexit. So, it is as well to look at these now and establish how Brexit might affect them and what actions are needed to prepare.
Brexit will also likely mean a very different landscape for trade between the UK and the other EU Member States. There could be customs declarations, border checks, tariffs, quotas and of course, from a direct accounting point of view, different VAT arrangements that your accountant will need to assess.
There may well be changes to company law when the UK exits the EU. While currently, smaller companies are exempt from including in the directors' report particulars of events affecting the company which have occurred since the end of the financial year and likely future developments, given the uncertainties around Brexit, it might be useful to include such detail to provide context and more forward-looking information than is in the accounts.
So, the uncertainty around Brexit means a greater emphasis on communication between you and your stakeholders.
For larger companies, the directors' report and strategic report represents their opportunity to communicate how the board is taking account of the challenges and opportunities afforded by Brexit.
In summary, preparing for a scenario of most change is prudent. Until there is clarity we're giving this advice to our clients across all sectors. This will enable companies to consider the biggest possible impact on issues such as supply chains and access to personnel, and ensure they are prepared for any outcome.
So, if you don't know whether you're coming or going, might we suggest a call to Philip Hammond! However, if you want a more forthright opinion on all issues as they occur and as they affect your business, might we suggest you call GSM on 020 7935 3793.