These are unprecedented times for business uncertainty. We have long been calling for economic and regulatory stability so that businesses can plan ahead – but that is what many companies have been unable to do for the past three years.
Government must continue to work towards achieving a deal as a matter of urgency, in order to ensure as much stability and as little disruption as possible. This is what ICAEW continues to press hard for.
However, if the UK is to leave without a deal, it is imperative that businesses have contingency plans in place and are as prepared as possible for such an event.
Business Readiness Fund
The Fund was announced recently by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as a grant scheme for business organisations and professional bodies – with the single aim of supporting businesses in preparing for a no-deal Brexit.
We will be providing hard-copy advice leaflets to accountancy practices to distribute to their clients, and to our business members working in SMEs. These leaflets will outline the ten key areas for businesses to consider during their preparations.
We will also be launching a digital campaign across all UK regions and all sectors to spread the message even wider – reinforcing the need for businesses to seek specialist advice from chartered accountants if any areas are unclear.
We have already invested significantly in resources to support businesses to plan ahead. Our online Brexit hub contains articles, helpsheets, checklists and webinars – as well as links to and explanations of official government guidance. We have published our own extensive technical guidance and support on areas including audit, tax, technology and financial reporting, as well as sector-specific guidance.
The ten key areas for businesses to look at can now be found at icaew.com/brexitchecklist – along with details of five webinars we are running throughout October.
Our Royal Charter requires that we act in the public interest, and helping businesses prepare for Brexit is currently at the forefront of that agenda. I ask that members do the same, spread the word about these new resources and wherever possible, offer support to your colleagues.
We all need to ensure that businesses are asking themselves the right questions – and taking the right precautions – ahead of Brexit.
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