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CCM | Carter Collins & Myer

Contact: Robert Newman
Address: Chichester House, 2 Chichester Street , Rochdale , Lancashire , OL16 2AX
T: 01706860255
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CCM | Carter Collins & Myer is an accountancy firm based in Rochdale, Lancashire and New Mills, Derbyshire. Our overriding ambition is for you to make…

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Back in June I wrote about the looming referendum vote and what I could see were the ups and downs of staying and going. Now the decision has been made, like me, you have probably been inundated with invitations to briefings from various self-appointed commentators on where this leaves us and the potential impacts of what we now refer to as ‘Brexit’.

What seems clear to me, having sat through several presentations and read numerous newsletters, opinion articles and eshots, is that nobody really has the first clue as to how this is going to play out. The political void we were left with after 23rd June proves that very few people were even ready for a vote to leave; I am aware that a number of major investment houses and financial advisory businesses had not even prepared a ‘we’ve left’ position and were somewhat caught on the hop as a result.

Talking to clients and contacts at meetings and networking events, it is still a hot topic for business as we all know that uncertainty is rarely a good thing in economic terms. But given that we don’t really know any more than we did on the 24th June, how do we, as businesses, prepare?

My personal view is - apologies for the sporting analogy here, but with the Olympics currently in progress - the next two years look like they are going to be more akin to the 400m hurdles than the high jump… We will go through a series of stutters rather than endure a single point of impact. 

Things seem to have, for now at least, settled down and little ever happens politically whilst school is out; so for many of my clients it feels like business as usual. When the Autumn comes (that assumes we had a Summer!) I can foresee and would actively recommend a degree of preparation be undertaken by businesses big and small, so they are as robust as they can be to face whatever may, or may not, transpire.

Here are some key tips – financial of course – you may like to consider:

Cash – remains king and always will. Keep an eye on your cash position and regularly revisit cash-flow forecasts

Debtors – Keep them in check. Whilst the direct impacts of currency and uncertainty may or may not hit you, remember they may also affect those you trade with

Assess risk – Before you go into any new deals/contracts carry out some additional due diligence on your client to assess their exposure to international markets and don’t be afraid to ask for some early upfront payment or tighter terms

Move money around – with the realistic possibility of negative interest rates and a weakened GBP rate, it may make sense to put reserves out to pasture for 6-12 months to try and get some return, or repatriate overseas profits now, as they will be worth more

Focus on reporting – Gut feel is great but nothing beats hard reports with year-on-year comparisons, trend reporting and the good old P&L. Spotting a positive or negative trend early allows you to act and either nip it in the bud or enable you to exploit an upturn

Search for opportunities – many will see opportunity where others see increased risk and they are right. Market fluctuations, impacts on your competition may open the door for your business so stay alert to new ideas and opportunities. The resultant trade negotiations may open up new markets for you.

Remember that nothing with VAT will change until new legislation is passed, which will probably wait until after everything is finalised – so all returns and reporting still need to be submitted including the EU returns of Intrastat and EU Sales lists and Reverse Charge Lists.