Managing a changing relationship

Feb 11, 2019
Welcome to the February edition of Accountancy Ireland. This is the first edition in 2019, a year which could be momentous in terms of framing a new relationship between Ireland, the UK and the EU. Fittingly, this edition will bring a particular focus on the issue of leadership, a key factor if the changing relationship between these islands is to be managed successfully. 

Brexit draws near

At the time of writing, the UK and EU appear to be reaching the endgame in terms of withdrawal. There is little evidence that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, which would avoid a hard Brexit, will be agreed. We can only hope that all will be clear before 29 March. What is certain is that our members, as business leaders and financial advisers, will be at the forefront of dealing with new trading obligations.

Preparations

As an Institute, we must ensure that our members, their firms and their clients are ready to meet the challenge of Brexit. Be assured that as the specifics unfold, we will offer support, detailed information and resources to help members deal with the new arrangements, whatever they may be.

Please note that the Institute, in partnership with ICAEW, has developed a free customs guide, Taking the Lead: Chartered Accountants and Brexit, which is available on our website. The UK Government has also released a partnership pack, which covers information on how to prepare for changes at the UK border in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

We are also engaging with the relevant regulatory bodies, the FRC and IAASA, to ensure continued cross-border recognition of members’ qualifications and auditing rights across the island of Ireland after Brexit.

Call for delay on VAT

Deal or no deal, after the UK leaves the EU, Irish traders will have to pay VAT upfront on imports from the UK. This, in addition to new customs duties, could mean a stark cash flow burden for business.   

Given that over €30 billion of goods are exchanged between the two jurisdictions every year, this major change will cause significant upheaval to every business involved in imports.

The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies Ireland (CCAB-I) is calling for the introduction of rules to allow Irish traders extra time to pay the VAT due on goods arriving from the UK. The postponed method of accounting for import VAT would mean that Irish importers would not have to pay VAT until several weeks later.

Your professional development

For many, New Year’s resolutions may have already come and gone, but for Chartered Accountants, personal and professional development remains a constant.

Members should be aware that our Professional Development brochures (for both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) are available to download at our website. This year’s new courses and specialist qualifications are ready to book. We have endeavoured to bring together a varied programme of high-quality content designed to help our members fully develop their career.

Barry Dempsey
Chief Executive