Brexit ‘slog’ ahead for accountants, suggest experts at CFO Agenda

WORKLOADS are likely to increase for accountants due to Brexit, believe experts, but their lucrative value-added services offerings may suffer as a result.

This was one of many themes covered by high-level panelists at yesterday’s CFO Agenda, the annual conference for senior finance professionals organised by sister publication Financial Director.

Chris Kinsella, interim finance director of charity Victim Support, warned that advisers would struggle to provide high-value advice, instead having to focus on technical questions borne out of the UK leaving the EU.

“Lawyers and accountants will become distracted dealing with this issue, taking them away from higher-value services,” he said during a panel covering the future of the UK and EU.

Vernon Bogdanor, research professor at the Institute for Contemporary British History, said there were “lots of benefits” ahead for consultants and advisers.

Commentators have suggested that uncertainty among businesses would see a brake applied to investment and deal-making, which would hit the transactional services market – among the most lucrative of areas for accounting practitioners.

A post-Brexit poll of accountants showed a mix of sentiment towards the profession’s future in light of a UK exit from the EU. However, RSM senior tax partner George Bull said that firms “know how to react in a crisis”, and that the profession was in “better shape than ever”.

“I’m not downplaying the difficulty of this period, but bearing what happened during the financial crisis, the changes were astounding and the profession survived and coped extremely well,” he said.

Visit Financial Director today for more coverage from yesterday’s event.

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