Brexit  

How advisers can help clients prepare for Brexit amid uncertainty

  • Identify the key ways Brexit is likely to affect clients
  • Explain why paying attention to cyber security will be very important
  • Identify the actions advisers need to be carrying out now
CPD
Approx.30min
How advisers can help clients prepare for Brexit amid uncertainty
 EPA-EFE/Facundo Arrizabalaga

It’s an interesting exercise writing an article on post Brexit when, even now, we still seem no further forward on what Brexit really means and what will be agreed, than when it all started back in June 2016. 

What is becoming clear is that it’s not going to be easy when we enter the new post Brexit transition era: with no clear guidance, new legislation or controls yet in place on how everything will work. 

During this time, we still have a responsibility to our clients and our business to put ourselves in a position of the best possible understanding we can have. 

What we can say with a degree of certainty is that nothing will be the same and nothing can be taken for granted when the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

For advisers like us, we already know that we will have a myriad of issues to work though and that every advisory business, needs to take it upon themselves to make any changes or establish new terms which are easy for their staff to implement and deliver, and importantly, for clients to understand.

We need to be able to meet client expectations by delivering the right solutions for the circumstances in question. 

Managing all our clients’ expectations will continue to be a key part of our new world and these post-Brexit impacts will need to be communicated to them as soon as we have some understanding of what they look like.

Even if we don’t fully know the answer we will have to provide a path for all to follow. 

Contingencies 

When pondering such a wide subject that has occupied greater minds than ours, as to what will happen when Brexit actually happens, we need to start somewhere.

With Covid-19 constantly in the headlines it would be very easy to park the post-Brexit work, however contingencies need to be planned and quickly.  

Some of the things that come to mind which need to be discussed with our professional intermediaries and colleagues before presenting a “fait accompli” to clients are noted below, in no particular order and by no means exhaustive and I am sure do not cover everything.

Value added tax

There is no doubt that VAT is an area which will become more complicated and costlier as we move from a single EU VAT market into multiple VAT jurisdictions, notwithstanding the dreaded Covid-19 which could bring further previously unanticipated changes to VAT globally, as part of a regional, European or global recovery plan. 

Although it is expected that an agreement has been reached at some level about the general terms of VAT post Brexit, as professional advisers, we still don’t know what that looks like in real terms, so we need to be prepared for several outcomes.

We will need to accept that solutions will take longer to deliver or complete. Unfortunately, without clear guidelines and legislation in place not only will things be delayed but it will become costlier for clients.