Mobility, talent, training
The success and reputation of the accountancy sector depends on people.
Why does it matter?
Accountancy is a people business. Its success depends on attracting and retaining the best people to undertake professional training and obtain qualifications. Thousands of EU27 nationals are currently registered to undertake UK professional body qualifications directly within their home countries, in addition to EU27 nationals who acquire UK qualifications in the UK. The major accounting firms are characterised by a diverse national make-up.
The sector requires mobility, to enable the deployment of expertise when and where needed. This is essential to delivering service to clients, pursuing audit quality and disseminating technical and management expertise through international accounting networks and associations. Fly-in / fly-out (FIFO) mobility is a fundamental aspect of delivering audit in compliance with set standards and other accountancy services for multinationals and other businesses with cross-border interests.
Why are we concerned?
Changes to the current regime for the mobility of professionals are likely to disputing normal business activities by increasing bureaucracy and compliance costs, for instance by potentially introducing new visa requirements and more reporting and monitoring.
The global mobility policies of the accountancy networks and associations will be impacted, to the detriment of the dissemination of best practices and experience and the pursuit of audit quality. This will in turn impact the businesses served by the profession.
Barriers to entry and practical restrictions could also reduce the pool of new and diversified talent into the profession. They could impact the partnerships with EU27 professional bodies, universities and other stakeholders which UK professional bodies pursue. This risks having a detrimental impact on investment and innovation in learning and professional development in the profession overall as well as its capacity to adapt to new technologies.
What are we calling for?
We call for a EU27-UK future agreement that minimises bureaucracy, disruption and costs to the fullest extent possible, to maintain focus on audit quality and the dissemination of technical and management expertise to optimise service provision.
Similarly, we want to maintain a deep pool of new talent entering the profession, to avoid barriers to access to UK professional body qualifications and the accompanying tuition, and to see the cooperation continue between UK professional bodies and EU27 professional, corporate and university stakeholders.