Belfast Telegraph

Business looking for confidence at time of great uncertainty

By Zara Duffy

It’s a time of huge uncertainty within the local business sector. The UK is due to leave the EU in less than six months. Due to our geographic, social and economic ties with the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland is likely to experience the greatest impact of this decision.

The accounting and finance industry will be at the forefront of helping local business to deal with the changes and challenges. The year ahead will be an important one for our economy. It will shape future trade relationships, test customs arrangements and may bring new responsibilities for many businesses trading with the EU.

The latest rumours suggest that a Brexit deal may be in sight, but a realistic plan on how the border will be managed has so far proved elusive. This, combined with the political uncertainty over almost two years, has made it difficult for local business to plan ahead, prepare for the change and take advantage of whatever new opportunities Brexit can bring.

At times of uncertainty, it’s vital that business can have confidence in their financial advisers, and that those advisers have the skills, experience and training to provide impartial, realistic advice.

It’s important that businesses ensure that they use a regulated accountant (for example a Chartered Accountant), with professional qualifications, experience and integrity.

When faced with uncertainty, regulated accountants can draw on a deep pool of experience and rigorous training.

Businesses need to be confident that their adviser will provide advice which they can count on. When risk needs to be managed, regulated accountants provide strategic guidance and assurance which, in turn, gives a real business advantage.

It’s not just Brexit, of course.  Other factors such as automated intelligence, big data and digital disruption are also transforming how we do business.

Again, accountancy and finance professionals need to take a leading role in how this change is managed.

The pace of change is astonishing, but it’s part of the role of the accountant and finance professional to anticipate those changes ahead, and to ensure that their client or organisation is ready not just to survive, but to thrive.

Belfast Telegraph

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