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What Does Brexit Mean for Global Audit Firms?

09 November 2017, 17:49 CET

As many predicted, Brexit is proving to be lengthy, complex and costly. As companies across the UK and Europe try to navigate their way through the legal minefield ahead, they are relying more heavily than ever on the expertise of the legal and financial services. So, what does Brexit mean for global audit firms?

Accounting for the Unexpected

The Brexit negotiations, that are taking place at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, have not yet really shed any light on the terms of the UK's divorce from the EU. In fact, the majority of people are more confused now than they have ever been, particularly as controversy coming from within the Conservative Party seems to be grabbing all the headlines.

Uncertainty is rife and so businesses are finding themselves having to account for the unexpected. Having your company's house in order will help it deal with the eventual outcomes of Brexit, no matter what they are and to do this the help of a respected audit firm is required.

The Outlook for Global Audit Firms

So, while the outlook for many companies, who are facing the changes that Brexit will inevitably bring, is uncertain, the outlook for global audit firms is bright. Brexit has brought a boom in the demand for their services and many firms have set up special Brexit teams in order to deal with this demand.

The role of such teams won't just be to offer advice regarding the potential risks that may arise from the Brexit negotiations. In addition, they will be looking to highlight potential opportunities, ways that companies can capitalise on the post Brexit landscape. This will, of course, mean an ongoing process of realigning and fine tuning any new strategies that are put into place.

Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion

The job of an audit firm, is to take an objective look into the business dealings of their client and offer up possible strategies that will enable them to move forward from a standpoint that is ship shape and Bristol fashion.

This involves looking predominantly at how the company's financial systems are working, reviewing regulatory protocols and other legal issues, such as licensing and liability. If this is carried out correctly, it should leave the company in a healthy condition and impervious to external forces that could affect growth and profitability.

Main Areas for Concern

In the short term, any such audit will be looking at three main areas of concern and looking to provide solutions to any problems these areas may throw up.

First, the legal status of EU workers needs to be addressed, as without a steady workforce businesses will be unable to operate. Factors that could affect businesses supply chain will also need looking at carefully and how the proceedings in Brussels could affect cashflow.

So, while business is currently good for global audit firms and the future looks to be bright, the weight of responsibility that they have to carry is one not experienced ever before.

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