The tax return season is completed for yet another year and there is an opportunity for practitioners to sit back, take a deep breath, and consider their practice development options for 2019-20.
Firms that have always relied upon client referrals to generate new growth might be advised to consider other options. If the powers that be continue to let the UK drift towards a no-deal exit from the EU next month, considered opinion is fairly consistent, that we are likely to see a slow down in economic activity for an unspecified period, and all of us will need to tighten our fiscal belts, yet again, to survive the process.
Having spent the past few weeks (and in some cases months) frantically completing and filing tax returns, practitioners could be excused for side-lining Brexit issues as a tedious “noise” to be ignored. Perhaps it would be wise to revisit that reaction and consider the downside risks – initially for clients – and then for your own practice, before the present deadline, 29 March 2019, is upon us.
For example, most of us are familiar with the “six degrees of separation” principle: the notion that we can all establish a connection with any human being on the planet via no more than six layers of communication with existing contacts. Recently, evidence has emerged that social media connectivity has shortened the number of steps required.
What has this to do with Brexit?
Practitioners could quickly establish links to companies who trade directly with the EU – either as clients, or contacts of clients. In which case if there are supply line difficulties post Brexit, almost everyone in the UK will experience some downside consequences: shortages, price increases, recessionary pressures, cash flow issues, and so on.
Working through these supply line risks with clients would seem to be prudent, as would consulting on business fitness issues.
Dismissing Brexit as a boring distraction is perhaps the equivalent of rowing towards the rapids without turning around to see where you are going. This year, more than any other in the past, is a time for taking time out to consider these options before its too late. If you don’t step outside the box and provide leadership, someone else will.