Brexit and your accounts system – how to keep on top of management

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As a CFO or a finance team member, your accounts system is perhaps one of your firm’s most crucial functions. However, with the most significant political and economic event of 2019 likely to be Brexit, you’ll need to make sure that your accounting system is completely proofed against any instability and uncertainty. As AccountingWEB points out, business confidence is dropping to well into negative double figures as a result of Brexit – so there’s a clear need to prepare. This article will explore what steps you can take to ensure that Brexit doesn’t upset your accounting system in an ever-changing and more uncertain world.

Right to work

Plenty of businesses and organisations in Britain rely on workers from the EU. Currently, such people have a right to work here without having to apply for a visa – and there are lots of finance teams up and down the country with an EU national in them. Once Brexit occurs, however, there’s no guarantee that these team members will be able to stay. While it’s currently uncertain exactly how this will pan out and whether the entire revoking of the right to work will even happen, it may well be worth looking into the process of sponsoring a visa for your European team members just in case.

Regulatory frameworks

The exact impact of Brexit on your accountancy function is still as yet unclear, and much now lies in the hands of politicians who have to decide whether to proceed with Theresa May’s deal, attempt to strike another – or risk a no-deal Brexit altogether. According to the Association of Accounting Technicians, any company based in the UK that also operates within the EU may well have to go further to demonstrate that they are compliant with relevant reporting standards. Prior to Brexit, regulatory harmony meant that showing compliance with the Companies Act in the UK was enough – but now, that may not be sufficient.

Changes to audit

Audit functions, meanwhile, are also set to be affected by Brexit. Currently, some auditors who practice in the UK have EU-based qualifications, and these are recognised and accepted by the UK government. When Britain leaves the EU, however, this may well cease to be the case. The government has said that any EU auditors currently in Britain will be given EU-friendly certification up until December 2020, but they will need to take an aptitude test before then to demonstrate that they can follow British rules.

No matter how Brexit works out, it is going to have wide-ranging effects on a whole host of businesses – and the accounting function is no exception. From the way that it could affect your team members’ right to work in the UK to the impact that it could have on audit jobs, it’s wise to carry out a quick “Brexit check” once 2019 begins to make sure that you’ve got all bases covered.

 Brexit isn’t the only big event on the agenda in 2019, though. Find out more about the key trends for CFOs to watch out for here. For some extra information on how Access group can help you turn your finance function round, click here.