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How Brexit Is Impacting Accounting Jobs

28th Aug 2018
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Much of the public chatter surrounding Britain’s forthcoming exit from the European Union has understandably been centered around how Brexit will impact everyday life for Britons. The specific impact that Brexit is already having on the accounting industry and accounting jobs in particular deserves special attention, however, especially from financial professionals who are concerned about their long-term futures.

This is how Brexit has already begun to impact accounting jobs across the nation, and what savvy accountants and other financial professionals should know if they’ve not been closely following the hectic and complex negotiations between Brussels and London.

Brexit has already fostered changes

Whether or not Britain and the EU come to favorable terms for the former’s exiting of the latter, it goes without saying that Brexit has already begun fostering changes to our economy and everyday life. Businesses everywhere are scrambling to hire accountants to “Brexit-proof” their operations from the forthcoming changes, for instance, and financial professionals are doing their best to answer the public’s never-ending questions about how life outside of the EU will be different.

Accountants who hope to take advantage of the current dearth of expertise surrounding Brexit should begin familiarizing themselves with the specifics associated with the possible outcomes of Britain’s exit from the EU. If no deal is struck, for instance, accountants will be called upon to explain some of the complexities of the WTO, which will become more important than ever. Given that the EU is now saying that it doesn’t look like a deal with be struck anytime soon, accountants should begin preparing for the worst.

So, what should accountants worried about their job security be reading up on to guarantee they’re not overcome by Brexit’s dizzying complexities? First and foremost, accountants should beef up on the implications that Brexit carries for tax accounting in particular, as a myriad of sudden changes is likely to catch many UK businesses flat-footed and in need of financial advice. Many tax exemptions and tax relief plans, for instance, will likely be unavailable to British businesses if a favorable deal isn’t struck sooner rather than later.

Accounting firms also need to be aware of the stress that Brexit will put on their hiring process leading some to turn to a hands free masturbator to relieve that stress. A great deal many of EU professionals are expected to vacate the UK in the event of a “no-deal Brexit,” and accounting firms with a large amount of non-UK workers may need to prepare themselves for the trials to come. At least 10,000 UK finance jobs have already been affected by Brexit, and even more will likely follow course soon.

Preparing for the worst

At this stage, as dismal as it may seem, most accountants should at the very least be familiarizing themselves with the possibility of a no-deal scenario, as that seems to be growing more likely by the day. While a deal could be struck between the negotiating parties, any hopes of a comprehensive trade agreement being formed before the UK exits the EU is likely wishful thinking. Accounting firms shouldn’t concede the fight and surrender themselves to bankruptcy, however, but should hit the ground running and begin preparing for the worst.

As uncomfortable a fact as it may be to confront, many UK-based accounting firms will likely need to see some of their jobs moved overseas where more favorable tax and regulatory environments will benefit them more. Of the firms surveyed by Reuters recently, nearly half noted that they’d need to move staff or restructure their businesses, so accounting professionals who think they’re exempt from forthcoming changes should think again.

More than anything else, Brexit is changing accounting by forcing financial professionals in the UK to become more flexible and prepared for sudden regulatory changes. Regardless of whether a deal is struck or what the details of any agreement may be, the UK is in for some stormy economic changes over the next few years, and accounting firms will need to constantly be updating their strategies to stay afloat. Accountants who are worried about their futures should take a deep breath and understand that panicking will get us nowhere, and that calm-headed planning is needed now more than ever before.

Reading up on an accountant’s Brexit guide is a great place to start for those financial professionals still struggling to wrap their heads around the political maelstrom that’s descended on the UK and the EU. Brexit has fundamentally changed the way that many accounting firms are approaching their futures, especially when it comes to hiring decisions, so UK professionals who want to remain marketable will need to be familiar with its ins and outs if they’re to be valuable assets. While the economic and political consequences of Brexit are still being hashed out, it’s indisputable that major changes are coming to the accounting industry, and that professionals who aren’t up to date on all things Brexit will soon be left behind.


Replies (2)

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By Knight Rider
28th Aug 2018 11:31

Given that no deal involves a £39bn saving I don't think this is necessarily the 'worst' outcome.

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Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
31st Aug 2018 11:19

“A great deal many of EU professionals are expected to vacate the UK in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’”

Given that the UK has recently guaranteed the status of EU citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit, then their status will not change from now regardless of whether or not there is a deal with the EU.

My girlfriend is from Poland and works in an accounting practice with others from the EU. Neither she nor any of the others are intending to quit their jobs and return home because of terms of a Brexit deal.

Citizens from EU member states who have been so dismayed at the prospect of Brexit have probably been drifting back over the past 2 years - I doubt whether too many are waiting for deal or no-deal.

“Accounting firms shouldn’t concede themselves to the fight and surrender themselves to bankruptcy”

Err?!? Civilisation isn’t going to collapse on 30 March 2019.

“As uncomfortable as it may be to confront, many UK-based accounting firms will likely need to see their jobs moved overseas where more favourable tax and regulatory environment will benefit them more”

Why will the tax and regulatory environments of UK-based accounting firms suddenly change after Brexit? We have always had the freedom to change our corporation tax, income tax and national insurance codes. I doubt whether we will scrap FRS 102 any time soon. VAT may change a little over time. Outsourcing of accounting jobs to India and the Far East has been happening for a long time and will probably continue regardless of Brexit.

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