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The impact of Brexit on small businesses: Why you need an accountant


Oct 26, 2020

Updated 9th March 2021

Small businesses have had a lot to deal with over the past year.

Navigating Brexit is not the only challenge to contend with; the coronavirus pandemic has left many small businesses vulnerable. Many business owners are, quite understandably, still reeling from the economic blows. 

We know that an accountant is a small business owner’s most trusted advisor, and never has there been a more crucial time to speak to one. They can offer insights and expertise into new government legislation to help businesses stay afloat in the coming months.

We’ve talked about how to manage cash flow better, and improve your chances of getting paid on time. Here’s how an accountant can help businesses weather the storm in the coming months:

Post-Brexit tax changes and the impact on your business

There is still a great deal of uncertainty around tax legislation after the 31st December. From next year onwards, businesses face the potential risk of having to pay VAT upfront during each cross-border transaction if facilitations remain unclear. To ease the burden, the Government’s official guidance on business VAT confirms that postponed VAT accounting will apply for goods imported from anywhere in the world. UK VAT-registered businesses will be able to account for import VAT on their standard VAT Return forms. According to the official guidance, the main ‘place of supply’ rules will remain unaffected for UK businesses. Fortunately, good accountants will help businesses navigate these changes with ease. 

Help with your business strategy

There’s a tendency to assume that accountants are all about crunching the numbers – but their roles are a lot more nuanced than this. For instance, they will be much more familiar with ongoing changes in tax legislation. They can talk you through the transition and advise on how you can navigate the new post-Brexit waters without falling foul of the law. 

Business financials are key to business success and utilising your accountant to help you create more accurate forecasts and projections will be crucial for the coming months. They can also identify cost savings, such as the proportion of your operating expenses that can be offset against tax. Changes like these can put your business in a better position to ride the waves of uncertainty.

Manage your cash flow

The most immediate stabilising tactic for businesses affected by COVID-19 is managing cash flow. It can make or break a small business, and getting paid on time is crucial to maintaining healthy cash flow.

Accountants can handle the entire invoicing process from beginning to end, setting up automatic invoicing systems, answering any queries, ensuring all correct details are shared in good time, and chasing any overdue payments. They can also advise on payment terms, and (with the help of cloud accounting software) share business accounts quickly and easily.

Accountants can also alleviate some of the pressure and uncertainty associated with current political events such as Brexit, and the eventual fallout of COVID-19. So, it’s always worth speaking to them about the things that are troubling you.

A good advisor can help you grow, provide essential advice, and manage the things you don’t have the time to manage yourself. Find one here.

Visit our dedicated Brexit Hub for more advice. 

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