London, UK, 27 June, 2019
Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK has today announced its most recent industry survey findings of more than 100 UK based accountancy firms, which show how accountancy firms are changing as Brexit unfolds. Almost half of those who responded (45%) indicated that they are planning to offer more advisory services to support clients during this time of uncertainty, including cash flow forecasting or recession planning.
The accounting profession has had to become more flexible to accommodate the uncertainties around Brexit, with many accountants in practice revealing that they have seen a notable increase in the number of clients turning to them for advice on the various risks posed by the UK’s planned exit from the European Union. For some advisors, Brexit has already impacted business planning decisions. Many businesses are making less ambitious revenue forecasts, while others have held off on investments to focus on the risks posed by each potential outcome.
Technology revealed itself to be a critical aspect for future focused practices looking to support their clients’ Brexit driven requirements, with nearly 86% of respondents identifying it as important, or critical to future success. Nearly a quarter (24%) of them also identified that they would be looking into offering training to existing employees when they had more certainty surrounding the short and long-term effects of Brexit on business.
The new findings come off the back of an uncertain economic outlook, as suggested by the FT’s annual survey, where the majority of the 81 economists polled on their predictions surrounding the UK economy for 2019 were unable to make firm predictions for growth due to Brexit uncertainties.
The Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK survey found that, when asked to identify their top area of concern regarding Brexit, nearly 57 % pointed to customs, excise and VAT procedures if the UK exits with no deal. This was followed by 15 % identifying suppressed economic activity and a further 10% identifying a possible delay to Making Tax Digital for income tax as a top concern.
Overall Brexit business impact sentiment amongst industry respondents was divided, with 19% indicating that they believed Brexit presents opportunities, and 38% indicating they felt rather concerned as to future uncertainty. On a positive note, 57% of all those surveyed viewed Brexit as a possible opportunity to attract both new business and clients. Matt Crook, Managing Director Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK commented,
“While there continue to be uncertainties, Brexit offers many opportunities for accountants. They are being asked to provide new services as a result of Brexit, and those who capitalize on the opportunity will be in an excellent position to help their clients to flourish.”
“Technology that supports advisors in addressing their clients’ Brexit-driven requirements is also set to play a pivotal role in the practice of the future, and if companies can embrace this to improve operational resilience and agility, they will be in the best possible position to rise to the challenges Brexit may present. We work side-by-side with our customers to help them realize their potential, delivering technology for the real world.”
Head of Communications UK
Wolters Kluwer, Tax & Accounting
+44 (0) 20 8247 1408
 Economists predict the UK economy’s trajectory in 2019: The FT polled 81 economists about prospects for 2019. Overall, they were pessimistic about 2019, with almost all forecasting that uncertainty around Brexit will hobble economic growth in the short term. Most said it was impossible to make any forecasts with certainty; those who ventured predictions said that growth would likely remain at its current, lacklustre level of 1.5%.