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New IFAC Research Report Demonstrates Positive Association between Business Performance and Use of Accountants

Commentators have been shocked by the depth of divisions revealed by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. North and south, young and old, it seems have revealed starkly differing views on the country’s place in the world and the best means of positioning itself in a rapidly changing economic order.

  • “Envisaging a future outside the European Union, our clients certainly face a range of uncertainties. Whilst the brouhaha has died down a little, Brexit’s effect on business is still far from clear. Whilst avoiding decision making tends to be bad for business in general, until the government has at least outlined its plan and taken some major decisions, decision avoidance is probably inescapable. As none of us has any idea of what is likely to happen or when, planning for higher interest rates, lower interest rates, for boom or for bust just isn’t possible.”
  • “For our overseas clients, the fall in the value of the pound might present a range of opportunities to buy into the UK at what is now, effectively, a huge discount as compared to pre-Brexit prices. Conversely, those overseas clients with investments and businesses in the UK may be worrying about their residence status in the country, and whether they should stop investing – at least until there is more clarity about the future. For UK clients in the export business, or those who rely on overseas customers, the fall in the pound may well provide great opportunities for increasing sales and exports abroad.”
  • “In this unprecedented situation, it might be helpful for businesses to prepare a risk management or business continuity plan. If predominantly good or bad things might arise for your business as a result of us leaving the EU, identifying the assets and functions that need protecting from the worst of the impact would be a wise move at this stage. Investigating the solutions for ensuring your business will not be unduly affected, and the nature of any inherent risks, might also be expedient now. There are a range of exercises that could be undertaken now, such as revisions to forecasts and projections, reviewing management figures, considering the exchange rate difference and the impact on markets and imports/exports. Clients may wish to consider different trading relationships, opening up other international markets and adjusting prices, fees, forecasts, and so on.”
  • “Ultimately, the overriding concern – certainly among people we spoke to – is the sheer uncertainty as to what will or won’t happen. In the stock markets, the currency exchanges, the broader economy, and the UK and EC political systems. But Ireland is consistently among the top-ten most business-friendly environments in the world. The Brexit vote won’t change this. Government and regulators should now be looking at ways in which to enhance investment attractiveness for multinationals and financial organisations. There is wide recognition, however, that until Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is actually invoked, it’s very much business as usual

As the EU discusses and debates the consequences of Brexit, businesses farther afield have shown surprising insight into how the UK’s political future will affect them. With the global economy so deeply intertwined, pulling on one thread always means varied effects elsewhere – but even so, the specific implications for each region of the world are fascinating to explore.
What so ever the case may be, while Brexit is expected to create years of uncertainty in the British economy, businesses elsewhere are already beginning to adapt. With all eyes on the UK and Europe, the

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