News

Innovation requires investment. But what are the best areas to invest in? Matthew J. Moberg details five growing platforms that companies should think of as investment opportunities. Innovation can be found in any part of the economy and people seek to invest wherever innovation occurs, regardless of sector classification, market capitalisation or geographical location.There have been significant breakthroughs in many sectors. To organise the change occurring in the economy, here are five major evolving platforms of growth. Global e-commerceGlobal e-commerce is an arena of tremendous opportunity. Estimated global sales were only 14% penetrated by e-commerce pre-COVID-19. Today, with the new reality of COVID-19, we have seen estimates of between 22–25% penetration.Even in the United States, so-called “highly” penetrated industries, like travel, books, office supplies and media are, on average, only 41% penetrated. There are many more industries—like groceries and global transportation—that are only modestly penetrated by e-commerce.Other opportunities include business-to-business (B2B) procurement and software that enables brick-and-mortar companies to have an online presence. The common perception may be that global e-commerce is at a late stage in the innovation cycle. In my view, there is so much further to go.Genetics breakthroughsThe sequencing – or decoding – of the gene is one of the greatest accomplishments of our era. The gene was discovered in 1953 but first sequenced during the Human Genome Project in 2003 at a cost of US$2.7 billion. The cost of gene sequencing has fallen rapidly in recent years. We believe the industry is on the cusp of creating meaningful diagnostics and therapeutics and, as a result, wealth creation. These opportunities may go beyond human gene therapeutics, to agricultural and even artificial intelligence applications.Intelligent machinesArtificial intelligence or machine learning is permeating every layer of product development. From using simulation tools to advanced graphics to designing products and getting immediate feedback as to points of weakness in a structure, or real-time intelligence on wear and tear that can feed back into new designs – smart machines are involved.If the last 30 years were spent organising data with mainframes, personal computers and mobile phones, the next 30 years could be set up to take that data and change our lives in the physical world. There could be opportunities in companies that intelligently design, manufacture, transport and maintain physical machines, in addition to investing, of course, in the machines themselves. New financeAccess to capital is one of the fundamental differences between developed and developing countries – the grease that allows efficient transfer of value. I believe there are three vectors that drive access to capital.The first is the concept of what constitutes money. In the past, people bartered for goods and services, which can be very inefficient. We have moved from barter to precious metals – backed by their own innate scarcity – to fiat currency backed by the full faith and credit of a government. Today, we are talking about currencies backed by algorithms.Similarly, the other two vectors, efficient pricing and methods of exchange, have also significantly evolved. In the past, the better barterer determined the price of your goods and services; then it was a loan officer at a bank with all their intrinsic biases.Today, we are increasingly using data to appropriately price risk, allowing us to allocate capital in more efficient ways. Methods of exchange are also evolving with the trends in e-commerce, allowing mobile payments and digital wallets to gain traction.Exponential dataUnderlying virtually all our investment themes is the constant of data. Without data, none of these platforms can be successful. But data isn’t virtual—there is a physical component to data that is often ignored. We need to clean the collected data, then store and deliver the same data. That requires massive amounts of data centres, fibre-optic cable, and cell towers, among other supporting infrastructure. To use data for something like artificial intelligence, computing power and memory are crucial. Graphics processing units, central processing units and field-programmable gate arrays represent some of the many components necessary to process that data more efficiently.The creation, cleaning, storage and delivery of data will lead to new applications like augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning, software as a service, and the sharing economy. There are many investment opportunities in companies that play critical roles all along this value chain. Some have postulated data is becoming the oil or gold of the new economy. Matthew J. Moberg is Vice President Portfolio Manager at Franklin Templeton. This article is the sole opinion of the author.A version of this article was first published in The FM Report.

Sep 04, 2020
News

Innovation is high on the government’s agenda. But how can companies invest in R&D given the current economic conditions? Establishing an innovative culture in your organisation is the key to success, says Barrie Dowsett.When it comes to innovative research and development, it is easy to picture a lab – one in which a large technology company is working on something amazing, like a robotic arm. You’re likely to think of pharmaceuticals as well, especially given that Ireland is renowned for its thriving medicine industry.But, actually, innovation is happening all around us.Research and development (R&D) is simply about seeking a scientific or technological advancement or overcoming a challenge that could not easily be solved by a professional in the field. From developing new products, services, or processes from scratch, to improving those which already exist, R&D is likely to occur in your business more often than you think.The state of R&D in IrelandThere has been a significant rise in the amount of investment in R&D from Irish businesses in recent years and that has coupled nicely with the fact that innovation is high on the government’s agenda.Recent data released by the Central Statistics Office show that the total expenditure on innovation projects in Ireland totalled almost €5.5 billion in 2018, an increase of 18.2% just two years prior. The main reason behind this leap is the 39.4% increase in expenditure for in-house R&D, totalling €3 billion in 2018 up from €2.2 billion in 2016.This information from CSO goes deeper too and shows that in 2018 the acquisition of machinery, software, and equipment represented 20.7% of the total spend at €1.1 billion. Embracing an innovative cultureAll businesses will approach R&D differently. Some have an innovative culture in place from the start. Others, however, take time to instil it. There are other variants to consider as well, like company structure, size, and ability to claim.Take size as an example. Businesses looking to create brand new products and services tend to be larger, more established, and better able to meet the demands of extensive market research and production. However, small- and medium-sized enterprises are more likely to work on improving existing products rather than creating new ones, as a development from scratch can be prohibitively expensive. Some companies will be able to set up their own R&D department, while others will outsource their efforts to gain the skills and knowledge required. Furthermore, with the effects of COVID-19 being acutely felt across the Irish economy, many companies simply feel unable to give R&D priority at the moment, with statistics showing that 85% of Irish businesses have scaled their operations back or even shut their doors entirely.R&D and the Irish economyHaving a well-defined and funded R&D strategy isn’t just about showing off amazing products, it’s also about staying ahead of the game. Marketplaces are becoming more competitive and companies are in direct competition with each other to offer something bigger and better to retain their customer base. Although investing in R&D often requires some generous financial outlay, the rewards can also be significant.Another big benefit of investment in R&D lies in the ability to claim R&D tax credits, with the government recognising the benefits it brings to the wider economy through job creation and growth. The incentive is lucrative too, covering up to 25% of R&D expenditure over and above the standard rate of 12.5%, meaning Irish companies can obtain as much as 37.5% of R&D costs back, either as a corporation tax reduction or as a cash lump sum. Creating or developing products and services, both for commercial purposes and within a company, can lead to great pay-offs. But innovation can’t happen without some element of risk, and for many companies meeting the costs involved can be daunting.However, there is a range of national and EU schemes available to help mitigate the costs in addition to R&D tax credits, like Enterprise Ireland funding supports, Horizon 2020, EUREKA Eurostars, and more. Whatever size and sector the company is in, a well-executed and funded R&D strategy is essential to survive and thrive.Barrie Dowsett is the CEO and owner of Myriad Associates.

Sep 04, 2020
News

Burnout has been creeping into our workplaces and greatly affecting our lives, even before COVID. Noel O’Callaghan outlines how you can identify burnout and manage your work-related stress.Increasingly, we are hearing about how workplace stress is on the rise, especially where work and life both feel uncertain and unpredictable. In a new survey from the Department of Work and Employment Studies at the Kemmy Business School, 60% of employees in Ireland are feeling more stressed since the onset of COVID-19. As we become so ingrained in the day-to-day routine while meeting the needs of employers or customers, we can miss the alarm bells warning that what was a somewhat natural and manageable stress is now morphing into burnout, something considerably more serious. Work culture seeks to identify and label what they call ‘high achievers’ but, unfortunately, delivering more and more with less and less is often the only criteria needed to earn the distinction. Day to day, month-end to month-end, quarter-end to quarter-end, the relentless pace of work makes it seem impossible for someone to put their hand up and say, “Stop. I need to rest”. If you combine this with a personality that is wholly-committed to doing a good job, has a fear of failure, or is unsupported either at work or at home, then you have a recipe for disaster when it comes to excessive stress or burnout.Signs of burnoutWhat are the tell-tale signs of burnout? Burnout can lead to physical and mental exhaustion, a feeling of detachment, or a feeling of never being good enough no matter how much you deliver. Are you:terrified of going to work every day?always tired?disinterested in participating in hobbies outside of work?getting little enjoyment in anything and no motivation to seek it?feeling stuck, with little or no light at the end of the tunnel?(Sometimes these can also be accompanied by unusual physical aches and pains.)These are just a few of the more common red flags, but it can be different for everyone. The great news is that burnout is treatable. Taking breaks, knowing your limits, and watching out for situations or people that elevate the stress can help. However, there are also huge benefits gained from working on your relationship with work. I-It and I-ThouMartin Buber, a theorist and 19th-century Austrian philosopher, suggested that humans have two approaches to the way we interact with people, things and nature. One is an ‘I-It’ approach where we objectify whatever we are dealing with and seek to get as much out of it for ourselves as possible and the other is an ‘I-Thou’ approach, where we turn to the subject as a partner and seek to relate more to it for the mutual benefit of both parties. There is a recurring theme that I see is in relation to how people interact with their career and the workplace. A pattern emerges over years whereby one relates to their career, work or co-workers from an I-It standpoint, viewing it as a means to an end, which can cause the relationship with work to become so unhealthy that people become ill. Having a more constructive relationship can alleviate the symptoms of stress and burnout and instil a sense of nourishment into the workday. We should aim to shift the relationship from I-It to an I-Thou and think of work as something to be engaged in, enjoyed or experienced.  Noel O’Callaghan FCA is a qualified psychotherapist. If you would like to discuss how any of the topics mentioned above are impacting your mental health, please contact the CA support team at CASupport@charteredaccountants.ie.

Sep 04, 2020

Developments of interest this week are outlined.ROIOver the last two weeks the CRO hosted their Digital Transformation Update Webinar, showcasing their new system that goes live in 2020. This has been made the webinar available on a YouTube channel, available at this link The Central Bank of Ireland has published the findings of a Thematic Review of the Retail Intermediary Annual Return (RIAR). The Review forms the latest part of a multi-year supervision programme undertaken by the Central Bank to regulate the compliance of firms with annual return reporting requirements EuropeanThe FRC has published a recording of the joint webinar with the IASB on the General Presentation and Disclosures Exposure Draft held on 6 August 2020. You can view the webinar here. The draft comment letter on the IASB’s General Presentation and Disclosures Exposure Draft is here. InternationalThe International Accounting Standards Board has finalised its response to the ongoing reform of inter-bank offered rates (IBOR) and other interest rate benchmarks by issuing a package of amendments to IFRS Standards. The amendments are aimed at helping companies to provide investors with useful information about the effects of the reform on those companies’ financial statements. The IAASB has published illustrative examples for auditing expected credit loss (ECL) accounting estimates. The examples illustrate how an auditor could address certain requirements of ISA 540 (Revised). The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt markets, businesses, and organizations. Since March, the IAASB has published six “Staff Audit Practice Alerts” which can be accessed here

Sep 03, 2020
Tax

 “Worried and disappointed.” The words used by EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier following the end informal talks in London with his UK counterpart, David Frost. Today’s Brexit Bulletin covers his comments on the UK’s reluctance to engage with the EU on key issues such as fisheries, State aid and dispute resolution. We have also summarised updated guidance releases by the EU Taxation and Customs Union to support local businesses in preparing for Brexit.“No trade agreement with the UK without credible framework on level-playing field and fisheries, says Michel BarnierFollowing the end informal talks in London with his UK counterpart, David Frost, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has stated that he has not seen any change in the UK’s position , and is “worried and disappointed”. Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Institute for International and European Affairs (IIEA), Mr Barnier said there was a “huge difference” between reaching a deal or no deal. A no deal would mean customs duties, declarations, and tariffs.  In his statement, Mr Barnier outlined three major tasks of negotiation for this year :Negotiating the EU-UK future partnershipImplementing the Withdrawal AgreementGetting ready for changes at the end of the transition periodThe EU, Mr Barnier said, wants “a close partnership with the UK, provided the conditions are right. This is in everybody's interest. And in Ireland's interest in particular.” With his statement tailored specifically to address the impact of Brexit in Ireland and Northern Ireland, he referred solely to unique aspects such as: Peace and stabilityApplication of Union Customs CodeSanitary checks on plant and animal products Speaking on a trade agreementMr Barnier reiterated his position that there will be no trade agreement between the EU and UK without a credible framework on the elements of a level playing field and fisheries. Addressing the future of the services sectorHe has deemed the services sector to be hugely important, and an area where the difference between a deal or no-deal will be felt the most. He also stated that a large part of the services negotiation (with the exception of financial services) will be covered if the EU is successful in striking a deal with the UK.On the chance of a no-deal BrexitMr Barnier confirmed that his informal talks with Mr Frost were from a position of openness to lead to compromise. However, given the UK’s current position, he strongly believes that there remains a risk of a no-deal Brexit at the end of October 2020. Both the EU and UK negotiators are set to meet again for the resumption of formal negotiations in London starting Monday 7 September 2020. EU TAXUD release guidance on how to prepare for the end of transition periodTo assist businesses in effectively preparing for Brexit during the transition period, the European Commission has released a compilation of guidance in the area of tax and customs. We have summarised a list of them below. Relevant updated sector-specific stakeholder notices for readiness Excise dutiesValue added tax (VAT) – goodsValue added tax (VAT) – services Customs including preferential originAnnex 1 – Business Transit ScenariosAnnex 2 – Business Export ScenariosGuide and handy checklist for businesses conducting any sort of trade with the UK following the end of the Brexit transition periodGuide for businessesBrexit Checklist for tradersIreland’s national Brexit contact pointsWebsites: Revenue (Brexit) | Enterprise Ireland | Gov.ie (Getting Ireland Brexit Ready)Email: brexitqueries@revenue.ie For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Sep 03, 2020
Public Policy

 In this week’s Public Policy news, read about how the eurozone countries are recording negative inflation for the first time in four years, how €15m is being made available in low-cost loans for microenterprises in Ireland and how UK pension providers will have to report on climate change financial risks or face penalty.Europe's inflation may lead to more ECB stimulusThe current economic recession in the eurozone may result in a bigger and longer-lasting fall in consumer prices. This is according to reports by EU's Eurostat data agency that inflation in the 19 Eurozone countries turned negative for the first time since May 2016, falling to -0.2 percent in August. Underlying inflation also plummeted, defying analysts’ expectations, reportedly fuelling speculation by some economists that the European Central Bank (ECB) is preparing to inject even more stimulus in the European economy than the historic amounts it has already put in place. It also puts even more pressure on governments to increase public spending to restore consumer demand. ECB policymakers next meet on 10 September. Tánaiste makes €15 million available to low-cost loan scheme for microenterprisesTánaiste Leo Varadkar announced this week that Microfinance Ireland has opened its new €15 million COVID-19 fund to support small businesses through the current period of uncertainty and to protect jobs that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic here. Small businesses can apply for loans up to €25,000 for a three-year term with no repayments and no interest due for the first six months of the loan. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees and turnover of up to €2 million can avail of the low-cost loans under the Microfinance Ireland Covid-19 Loan Fund Scheme. The Tánaiste said: “This Fund has proven to be a lifeline for micro-enterprises over the past few months, where we’ve seen nearly 700 businesses with fewer than ten employees avail of it.”Up to 31 July 2020, up to 683 businesses had availed of the €18.6 million sanctioned under the Covid-19 Loan scheme, with €18.6 million sanctioned. Further information is available via Microfinance Ireland.UK pension providers to report on climate change financial risks The UK government has published a consultation on a proposal designed to ensure pension providers consider the risk of climate change on their investments. Under the proposal, larger occupational pension schemes and authorised schemes will have to publish climate risk disclosures by the end of 2022.  Smaller schemes would have to meet the requirements by end 2023.Under the proposals, some schemes would have to use the taskforce on climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD) framework for these disclosures, and must demonstrate that effective governance, strategy, risk management are in place.   Schemes would also have to conduct ‘scheme scenarios’ to test temperature scenarios for the scheme’s assets, will need to report the greenhouse gas emissions of their portfolio, and will be required to publish their report on a website and to notify pension scheme members, or risk receiving a mandatory penalty imposed by The Pensions Regulator.Thérèse Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: ‘‘These measures will ensure pension schemes are in an ideal position to drive change to a sustainable, low carbon economy which will benefit everyone.” The consultation is open until 7 October, with a consultation on regulations planned for late 2020 or early 2021.Read all our updates on our Public Policy web centre.

Sep 03, 2020
Careers Development

For the three and a half years of my training contract I remember that all of my interactions with the Institute were around lectures and exams and that when I qualified it was such a relief to be free from all that administration and exam pressure. When you qualify as an ACA it is very tempting to just ignore any communication and networking opportunities with the Institute and indeed this may be your first reaction. However, before you make this decision you need to consider what you are missing out on in terms of the potential to build a solid professional network, develop your career and of course have some fun with other members. With no exams on your plate and all that free time one of the best things you can do as a qualified member is to explore how the Institute can now be leveraged to the advantage of your personal brand and career trajectory! Another consideration of course is that by demonstrating that you have an ongoing relationship with the Institute and where this is evident from you CV it will indicate to an employer a certain positive dimension to your personality such as loyalty, communication and relationship management skills as well as displaying your career ambition and motivation. Here are a few specific ways to build and maintain that relationship with Chartered Accountants Ireland in the years after qualification :Explore a range of committees and special interest groups that you can join and get involved with including the Young Professionals, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, the Technology committee to name but a fewGet involved with the district societies from a social and committee perspective. Playing a key role in a committee can be a great way to build a range of skills such as public speaking and presentation skills as well as getting to understand how a committee operates including from a governance perspective. These skills can all be very beneficial when you are seeking to advance your career. There is also huge potential in terms of building important relationships both on a personal and professional level.When the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, as a member you can use rooms in CA House for meeting purposes. This is a tangible benefit to members and also represents a good way for you to visit the hub of Chartered Accountancy and to meet other fellow members and staff. Again when it is safe to do so there will be the opportunity for you to attend a range of relevant and interesting events in CA House. Events typically have a social and networking dimension to them and you will get to meet members from a wide range of backgrounds and sectors. We often hold events offsite and we like to explore new and exciting venues. We are always looking to try out new events too and in recent times we have held virtual quizzes, health and welling being sessions, fun runs and beach clean ups.The Careers and Recruitment service provides you with a great touchpoint with your Institute. You can meet with a member of the Careers team for a confidential career conversation that will help to guide you as you make important career decisions and it will help you to achieve your career goals. We can work with you to help you to set and achieve your career goals.Our panel of Career Mentors is another way to engage with us and to gain the benefit of an expert panel of experienced Chartered Accountants who are available free of charge to provide you with career advice based on their own career journey to date.CPD courses are another way in which to leverage the resources available to you as a member. Not only will you get to hear from some of the best lecturers and speakers you will also get to engage with your fellow members and learn from them as they share their experiences during our interactive sessions. A carefully selected CPD course can not only help you to build your knowledge it can also help you to build your network.Join the Chartered Accountants LinkedIn group and contribute content or simply add some comments. This will open up a whole new network for you and can be a useful resource when you are looking for guidance and advice.Volunteer to speak to trainees and students in the Institute about your career path. We are always interested in speaking to members who would like to share their experiences with other members or indeed with students. This is a great way not only to support others but will also help you to raise your profile. Another option is to perhaps consider part time lecturing for the Institute or getting involved with exam invigilation.Write an Article for Accountancy Ireland. We are always looking for subject matter experts to contribute content to our publications including Accountancy Ireland. This is an opportunity for you to share your knowledge, develop your writing skills and also to raise your profile.These are just a few ideas how you can use your Institute to your advantage as a qualified member and really harness the network and energy of the largest professional business community in Ireland not to mention international linkages. It is important to remember that peer-to-peer support is an essential ingredient for career success and of course having fun is essential too and you will find both when you connect with your Institute. Dave Riordan ACARecruitment Specialist and Career Coach Chartered Accountants Ireland     

Sep 02, 2020
Thought leadership

Originally posted on Business Post 23 August 2020.Vague calls for better corporate ‘citizenship’ won‘t help us get through the pandemic – enforcement of the regulations will.A company is nothing more than a legal structure which happens to be treated for many purposes – including taxation – as if it were a citizen.At the time of the last financial crisis, it became commonplace that left-leaning civil society, academics and charities would call for business to become more socially responsible. Tax compliance was a favourite topic, with little regard paid to the existence of enforceable rules to ensure tax collection. Instead, the underlying notion seemed to be that companies, in particular, should act like citizens in some way and go beyond what is merely required under the law.These calls are being made again in the context of the response to the pandemic, but they ring hollow when they are made without reference to the hard facts of enforcement and accountability.Companies are not citizens, at least not in the normally accepted sense of the word. A company is nothing more than a legal structure which happens to be treated for many purposes – including taxation – as if it were a citizen. Nevertheless, in common with all citizens, companies have obligations to stay on the right side of the law.The latest raft of measures in the July Stimulus plan ensure that companies and businesses generally will have to have tax clearance certificates to avail of the employment wage subsidy scheme (EWSS). The new EWSS replaces the temporary wage subsidy scheme (TWSS). While having this certificate is a new requirement, there is nothing new about the tax clearance process. A tax clearance certificate provides evidence that a company’s tax affairs are up to date. Publicans have needed these certificates for years in order to get their licences, as have businesses tendering for government contracts. Even our TDs need tax clearance certificates to sit in Dáil Éireann.The tax clearance process also helps ensure that one arm of government knows what the other is doing, as mismatches can lead to embarrassment. Most people are uneasy about government funds flowing to people who are not paying their taxes. In common with many Revenue procedures, it is highly automated, and the tax clearance status of any business can be verified online. Nevertheless, this new requirement will be a challenge for quite a few businesses wanting to claim the EWSS.It is estimated that there are some 16,000 employers currently claiming the temporary wage subsidy scheme who will not have tax clearance certificates and must apply to Revenue for them. Clearance is usually a straightforward process, but these are not straightforward times.For instance, late payments of PAYE or Vat would normally have disqualified a business from being eligible, but late payments were in many cases permissible in recent months as tax debt is being warehoused, so this should not be a problem. There is, however, increased bureaucracy associated with the EWSS when compared with the TWSS. However unwelcome, these additional controls may be necessary.The tax clearance certificate requirement has a broader significance. Businesses that shirk their tax obligations give themselves a competitive advantage, perhaps because their wage bills are lower if they don’t fully account for PAYE, or perhaps their margins are greater because they don’t properly account for Vat.Similarly, businesses that shirk their responsibilities under the coronavirus restrictions by failing to provide adequate protection for staff and customers, by not making sure that their premises have been properly cleaned and reorganised or by not providing adequate training, are conferring on themselves an unfair competitive advantage.There is little enough evidence to date that this has been the case. Yet, as the pandemic and our responses to it drag on, familiarity with the virus will lead to contempt and the temptation to cut corners will grow. The tax clearance certificate is evidence of just one aspect of good corporate behaviour which must be sustained as long as the EWSS is being claimed.Good corporate behaviour on a continuing basis for all the measures to tackle the pandemic and not just for taxes will be ever more important. Should a belief emerge that compliance with coronavirus restrictions puts individual industries at a competitive disadvantage, the current broad acceptance of the rules could collapse.The message that it makes good commercial sense to be fully compliant with restrictions on movement will get progressively more difficult particularly as we enter into the autumn months. Enforcement of coronavirus restrictions will become increasingly necessary. The headline events of recent days such the resignations of the chairman of Fáilte Ireland, of the Leas-Cathaoirleach of the Seanad and of the Minister for Agriculture, however unfortunate, are vital elements in the messaging.This is why vague calls for better corporate citizenship or for businesses to “do the right thing” should be treated with some suspicion. Appropriate corporate behaviour is about businesses and companies obeying the law, however difficult, at the time of pandemic restrictions. There must be no commercial advantage available by failing to apply the rules. That in turn means there has to be enforcement. Anything else is just grandstanding.Dr Brian Keegan is Director of Public Policy at Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Aug 31, 2020
Tax

 That’s according to the NI Tax Committee in its response to the consultation seeking views on HMRC’s Revised Customer Charter. The Committee also highlighted the lack of reference to the cost of compliance within the revised draft of the Charter stating that it should still be an objective of HMRC that the costs of compliance be kept to a minimum.The revised Charter, once finalised, should be promoted, and made more prominently available on GOV.UK. Compliance with the Charter should also be monitored by an independent body such as the National Audit Office, according to the Committee’s submissionto HMRC on the revised Customer Chartered.   

Aug 31, 2020
Public Policy

In today’s Public Policy news, read about the contract for the Government’s National Broadband Plan to supply broadband to over half a million users in Ireland. In the UK, the government has announced plans for new legislation aimed at cleaning up supply chains involving deforestation. Internationally, the EU and the US have announced agreement to reduce tariffs on hundreds of millions worth of goods traded between the two trading partners.National Broadband Plan contract publishedLast week the Government published its contract with the National Broadband Ireland Consortium (‘NBI’) to implement the National Broadband Plan. The Programme for Government has committed to accelerating the delivery of the plan, led by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, to roll out broadband to 540,000 homes and businesses over a seven-year period. The agreement was first signed in November 2019 and the published contract, worth more than €3 billion, is over 1,500 pages. Much of the content is reportedly redacted due to ‘commercial sensitivities’.  NBI, which won the 25-year contract, announced that it expects to complete the contract early and under budget and with a minimum download speed of 500Mbps. You can read more coverage here.US and EU agree to reduce certain tariffs For the first time in more than 20 years, the US and EU have announced agreement to reduce tariffs on hundreds of millions worth of goods traded between the two trading partners.  The package of tariff reductions will increase market access for both US and EU exports.EU tariffs on lobster products imported from the US will be eliminated for a period of five years. After this period ends, the European Commission will initiate procedures to make them permanent. The United States in turn will reduce by 50 percent its tariff rates on certain products such as prepared meals, crystal glassware, cigarette lighters, surface preparation and propellants exported by the EU to the US. Both measures will be made on a Most Favored Nation (MFN) basis and retroactive to begin from 1 August 2020.UK proposes law to curb illegal deforestation and clean up supply chainsThe UK government has announced plans to introduce legislation that would make it illegal for larger businesses in the UK to use commodities grown on land that has been deforested illegally.  The new legislation aims to clean up the UK’s supply chains. Large businesses would have to carry out due diligence and publish information about the origin of commodities such as cocoa, palm oil and soy. Non-compliance could lead to fines. The proposed new law complements the UK’s existing efforts to make international supply chains greener. The Global Resource Initiative (GRI) is an independent task force established  by the government in 2019 to consider how the UK could reduce its global environmental footprint by slowing deforestation.Deforestation is mostly illegal and accounts for 11 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. It drives biodiversity loss, exacerbates the spread of infectious diseases, and increases the risk of extreme weather.International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith, said:“There is a hugely important connection between the products we buy and their wider environmental footprint, which is why the government is consulting today on new measures that would make it illegal for businesses in the UK to use commodities that are not grown in accordance with local laws”The consultation is open until 5 Oct 2020 and seeks views from UK and international stakeholders on whether such legislation should be introduced.Read all our updates on our Public Policy web centre.

Aug 31, 2020
Tax

The application process for the second SEISS grant opened on 17 August. HMRC has been busy in recent weeks writing to self-employed people who may be eligible. As with the first grant, taxpayers have been given a date to make a claim. They can claim any time between their allocated date and 19‌‌ October 2020.The eligibility criteria for the second grant is exactly the same as the first grant – so self-employed people who were eligible for the first SEISS grant will be eligible for the second grant, so long as their business has been adversely affected since 14‌‌ July 2020.  This typically means that their business has experienced lower income and/or higher costs because of COVID-19 since 14‌‌ July. According to HMRC, there is no minimum threshold over which a business’s income, costs or activity need to have changed by, but taxpayers must keep appropriate records as evidence of how their business has been adversely affected.The second taxable grant is worth 70% of average monthly trading profits, a reduction from the 80% available under the first grant. This is being paid out in a single instalment and is based on three months’ trading profits capped at a maximum of £6,570. Once people have completed a claim, they will receive payment within 6 working days.Self-employed parents whose income may have been affected if they took time out to have children are also now able to claim if they meet the eligibility criteria. There’s more information for new parents, including an online form on GOV‌.UKOnce again, HMRC is reminding agents that they cannot make a claim for a client. This is because it will trigger an alert and that leads to delays in payment reaching people who need the money to support their business.  However, you can play a critical role in helping your client understand their eligibility and level of entitlement.If your clients can apply online, this is the quickest and easiest way to claim whilst helping HMRC prioritise those that most need extra help. It takes most people less than 5 mins to claim online using their Government Gateway account. There are also new webinars and a short video on HMRC’s YouTube channel that you or your clients can use to ensure you know how the process works.

Aug 31, 2020
Tax

Read the latest Digital Services updates from HMRC for July and August 2020. The latest Agent MTD update is also available. See also HMRC’s recent communication on student scams.HMRC has also set out some important advice for students on recent scams“HMRC has warned students to be alert to a fresh wave of cyber frauds offering them bogus tax refunds. The department would normally expect to see a small, regular flow of scam referrals from students but recently saw a sudden spike in students reporting suspected scams received at their official university email addresses. HMRC’s experience shows that when new scams emerge targeting students at particular universities, they often multiply. The department has therefore warned students to take a moment to think before parting with their personal information.The scam emails say that the student is owed a tax refund and invite them to click on a link to ‘complete the required form’. They add: ‘If you do not complete the refund form now, you will not be able to claim your tax refund online.’The criminals will then use the malicious link to harvest students’ personal data.The emails include a scam warning, saying: ‘If you’re unsure an email is from HMRC do not reply to it or click on any links. Report the suspicious email to HMRC. To find out how go to GOV.UK and search for ‘Avoid and report internet scams and phishing’.’ HMRC’s Customer Protection Team has been alerted to this fraud by students, who have been receiving the emails at their official university @xxx.ac.uk email addresses.HMRC has asked Internet Service Providers to take down malicious web pages associated with the scam and has alerted universities and the National Union of Students.UK universities have been operating remotely, online, since the Covid-19 lockdown.HMRC’s advice to students:Stop:   Take a moment to think before parting with your information or money.   Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting. Challenge:  It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests - only criminals will try to rush or panic you.  Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.  Protect:  Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.   Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, and report it to Action Fraud.” 

Aug 31, 2020
Tax

Over 62,000 EU citizens have applied for a right to stay in Northern Ireland permanently under the EU Settlement Scheme. We have also summarised the latest guidance from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to support businesses preparing for Brexit. In other news, for UK based traders, you can apply to pay less duty on goods undergoing special procedures as per HMRC’s latest guidance. More than 62,000 EU citizens apply to settle in Northern Ireland Latest statistics on the EU Settlement Scheme show that 62,600 EU citizens have applied to stay in Northern Ireland. Areas of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon have seen the highest number of applications (over 13,000) for settlements, with Belfast coming in as the second preference with nearly 12,000 applications. These statistics cover the period of 28 August 2018 to 30 June 2020, and applications concluded during the same time period.The highest number of applications in Northern Ireland have, so far, come from Polish nationals, followed by Lithuanian and Romanian nationals. Around 60 per cent of the current applicant group have been granted settled status, whereas 31 per cent are classified as “pre-settled”. You can take a look at the EU Settlement Scheme statistics on Gov.UK.“Take action”, says Department of Agriculture’s new Brexit guidanceAs a part of their campaign to get businesses Brexit ready, the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine in Ireland has released guidance urging businesses to undertake certain assessments and activities when importing or exporting plant/animal products. As per their latest publication, the guidance covers areas of supply change review, knowing specific requirements for plant and animal products (Starting 1 January 2021) and certification requirements for traders conducting business with the UK. They have outlined seven essential steps that need to be considered by traders operating in the agri-food sector:1. Review your supply chain2. Know the specific requirements for the commodity you are trading in3. Decide how you will handle your regulatory requirements4. Decide who is responsible for pre-notifications on TRACES (plant/animal product system)5. Register with the relevant authority6. Know the UK certification requirements for products that you export7. Avail of Government Brexit programmes and supportsMore information on the government's Brexit programmes and supports is available on gov.ie/brexit. Are you availing of special procedures on importing or exporting goods in the UK? HMRC have released guidance on customs special procedures that enable traders to suspend, pay less or no duty on goods they import or export for special procedures such as repair or processing. These special procedures allow traders to store, temporarily use, process, or repair goods and get partial or full relief from import duty, or in some cases suspension.How do I avail of this?All traders need to apply for authorisation before applying for each special procedure(s) separately. In the case of importing goods, traders can apply for the following authorisations:for processing or repair, then plan to release them to free circulation or keep them in the UK (inward processing)for processing or repair, then plan to keep them in the UK and they’re used for specific purposes (end-use)and store them until they’re ready to be used (customs warehousing)for temporary use (temporary admission)In the case of exporting goods and then re-importing them, traders can apply to use outward processing, where you can apply to pay less duty.Similar guidance is also available on Revenue’s website for traders importing or exporting goods to Ireland.For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Aug 31, 2020
Tax

The Office of Tax Simplification (“OTS”) work continues and a 10 year anniversary event is now planned for Monday 7 September.On 14 July 2020, the Chancellor wrote to the OTS to commission a review of Capital Gains Tax;On 20 July the OTS published a note evaluating its work on corporation tax and providing a stock take of its work on the taxation of self-employed people; andOn 21 July the OTS published its fourth Annual Report covering the year to 31 March 2020.

Aug 31, 2020
Tax

From tomorrow 1 September 2020, the CJRS scheme changes again. A reminder of the key changes is set out.From 1‌‌‌ ‌September, the CJRS will pay 70% of usual wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.Employers will still need to pay furloughed employees 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant themselves.The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if an employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in September, employers are entitled to claim 70% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work up to £1,093.75 (50% of the £2,187.50 cap).Employers will continue to have to pay furloughed employees’ National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions from their own funds.HMRC has also sent the below message“It’s important that employers provide all the data we need to process their claim. Payment of a grant may be at risk or delayed if a claim is submitted that’s incomplete or incorrect, so we want to help employers get this right. We will get in touch with employers if we see any employee data missing from previous claims.From 25 August, files uploaded for 100 or more furloughed employees may now be automatically rejected if an incorrect format is used. If an employers’ file is rejected, they will receive a message to say it has not been accepted and their claim will not continue.This could be due to: an incorrect file typetoo many columns or sheetstoo few columns.If employers are claiming for 100 or more employees, they can download and use our template as this will help them make sure their data is right.Employers can find everything they’ll need to help make a claim on GOV.UK, including a useful calculator and guidance on the data they need to provide and the format they need to use to ensure their claim is accepted.”

Aug 31, 2020
Brexit

Over 62,000 EU citizens have applied for a right to stay in Northern Ireland permanently under the EU Settlement Scheme. Additionally, we have summarised the latest guidance from the Department of Agriculture to support businesses preparing for Brexit. In other news, for UK based traders, you can apply to pay less duty on goods undergoing special procedures as per HMRC’s latest guidance. More than 62,000 EU citizens apply to settle in Northern Ireland Latest statistics on the EU Settlement Scheme show that 62,600 EU citizens have applied to stay in Northern Ireland. Areas of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon have seen the highest number of applications (over 13,000) for settlements, with Belfast coming in as the second preference with nearly 12,000 applications. These statistics cover the period of 28 August 2018 to 30 June 2020, and applications concluded during the same time period.The highest number of applications in Northern Ireland have, so far, come from Polish nationals, followed by Lithuanian and Romanian nationals. Around 60 per cent of the current applicant group have been granted settled status, whereas 31 per cent are classified as “pre-settled”. You can take a look at the EU Settlement Scheme statistics on Gov.UK.“Take action”, says Department of Agriculture's new Brexit guidanceAs a part of their campaign to get businesses Brexit ready, the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine in Ireland has released guidance urging businesses to undertake certain assessments and activities when importing or exporting plant/animal products. As per their latest publication, the guidance covers areas of supply change review, knowing specific requirements for plant and animal products (Starting 1 January 2021) and certification requirements for traders conducting business with the UK. They have outlined seven essential steps that need to be considered by traders operating in the agri-food sector: 1. Review your supply chain2. Know the specific requirements for the commodity you are trading in3. Decide how you will handle your regulatory requirements4. Decide who is responsible for pre-notifications on TRACES (plant/animal product system)5. Register with the relevant authority6. Know the UK certification requirements for products that you export7. Avail of Government Brexit programmes and supports More information on the government's Brexit programmes and supports is available on gov.ie/brexit. Are you availing of special procedures on importing or exporting goods in the UK? HMRC have released guidance on customs special procedures that enable traders to suspend, pay less or no duty on goods they import or export for special procedures such as repair or processing. These special procedures allow traders to store, temporarily use, process, or repair goods and get partial or full relief from import duty, or in some cases suspension.How do I avail of this?All traders need to apply for authorisation before applying for each special procedure(s) separately. In the case of importing goods, traders can apply for the following authorisations:for processing or repair, then plan to release them to free circulation or keep them in the UK (inward processing)for processing or repair, then plan to keep them in the UK and they’re used for specific purposes (end-use)and store them until they’re ready to be used (customs warehousing)for temporary use (temporary admission)In the case of exporting goods and then re-importing them, traders can apply to use outward processing, where you can apply to pay less duty. Similar guidance is also available on Revenue’s website for traders importing or exporting goods to Ireland.For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Aug 28, 2020
News

Sustaining a family business can be complicated. Liam Lynch considers how good governance can achieve the right balance between family and business.Like any enterprise, a family business needs governance to ensure that its family and business strategies are aligned and achieved. This governance must protect the business from the normal and predictable challenges that family involvement brings. However, formalising ownership structures, power and processes can create resistance and (often healthy) conflict as the management of a family business transitions from an ‘autocracy’ to ‘democracy’.The benefits of governance far outweigh the challenges of developing it. As more generations become involved, and the demands of people in the business increase, the need for more a formalised governance structure is vital.Governance means education and pre-agreed rules about management and how strategies will be implemented. These rules must apply to everyone involved in the enterprise, from directors to shareholders, managers and staff.There typically needs to be two separate but related sets of rules (governance). One regarding how the family will behave and relate to the business – a family constitution, even if not formalised as such – and the other regarding how the family will behave and relate in the business – a Shareholders’ Agreement and sometimes a Board Charter.Discussions must start nowBuilding a sustainable family business means starting early to communicate about plans for growth and future succession. Unlike a regular enterprise, a family business is usually built on a level of trust and informality by the founder family members. However, if a business is to grow and employ more people, including family, it needs a level of structure to help the business ‘scale-up’.To minimise distraction to the business and tension within the family when formalising governance structures, it is important to recognise that these issues are completely normal and predictable. It can be helpful to work with an independent party who can facilitate conversations, share proven frameworks and use their experience to navigate the process. Invariably this will lead to a better outcome.Four pillars of governanceGovernance is broken down into four pillars: management, income, control and equity.ManagementA common trigger of problems is when the founder brings children into management roles who have not gained the experience to perform the roles. This not only creates tension, but it can stunt the business’ performance. Having pre-agreed rules regarding how family members can join the business, and the required experience, involvement, development and output – just like any other employee – will help alleviate this.The pre-agreed rules will consider reporting lines, and establish performance expectations and review processes, as well as how issues are communicated and resolved. Ideally, family members should report to someone outside the family, but if it is a family member, their performance review should happen with an independent advisor as well. These rules help prevent disagreements later and spill-over between business and family relationships.IncomeThere must be clarity around how family members, in and out of the business, will be recognised and rewarded, and how they can develop and progress. Part of achieving the balance of a sustainable business will mean adopting rules that reflect the different roles family members can play in relation to the business as employees, directors and/or owners.Think about it like employees earning a market-based salary, family members who contribute as non-executive directors earning directors’ fees, and owners receiving dividends or repayments of capital in accordance with the pre-agreed plan. ControlThere also must be clearly defined rules in relation to the decisions that managers, directors and owners make in each of these roles. An important distinction to remember is that family members are ‘equals as members of a family’ but not ‘equals as managers, directors or owners of a business’. Some of these rules may reside in a family constitution, business policy or shareholders’ agreements.  The important thing is that they are clear, agreed, communicated and respected.EquityLike any business relationship where there is more than one owner, there needs to be agreement and communication on how people will behave as owners. This includes defining who can appoint directors, the payment of dividends, how decisions will be made, how and when ownership interests can be sold or transferred, and how the business will be funded.Respect the separation of powersFinally, the creation of a governance structure is all about clearly defining and respecting the separation of powers. Focusing on the above four pillars ensures that each area has clear governance, helping family business members avoid arguments and ensure the success of their strategy.At the end of the day, a lot of this comes down to ‘best fit’ rather than ‘best practice’. Families and the businesses they own need to do what’s right for them in their own context. Making sure a governance structure is in place that is tailored to the specific history and needs of the family will mean they manage and avoid arguments and problems down the road to a sustainable future. Liam Lynch is a Partner and Head of Private Clients in KPMG.

Aug 28, 2020
Public Policy

National Broadband Plan contract publishedThis week the Government published its contract with the National Broadband Ireland Consortium (‘NBI’) to implement the National Broadband Plan. The Programme for Government has committed to accelerating the delivery of the plan, led by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, to roll out broadband to 540,000 homes and businesses over a seven-year period. The agreement was first signed in November 2019 and the published contract, worth more than €3 billion, is over 1,500 pages. Much of the content is reportedly redacted due to ‘commercial sensitivities’.  NBI, which won the 25-year contract, announced that it expects to complete the contract early and under budget and with a minimum download speed of 500Mbps. You can read more coverage here.US and EU agree to reduce certain tariffs For the first time in more than 20 years, the US and EU last week announced agreement to reduce tariffs on hundreds of millions worth of goods traded between the two trading partners.  The package of tariff reductions will increase market access for both US and EU exports.EU tariffs on lobster products imported from the US will be eliminated for a period of five years. After this period ends, the European Commission will initiate procedures to make them permanent. The United States in turn will reduce by 50 percent its tariff rates on certain products such as prepared meals, crystal glassware, cigarette lighters, surface preparation and propellants exported by the EU to the US. Both measures will be made on a Most Favored Nation (MFN) basis and retroactive to begin from 1 August 2020.UK proposes law to curb illegal deforestation and clean up supply chainsThis week the UK government announced plans to introduce legislation that would make it illegal for larger businesses in the UK to use commodities grown on land that has been deforested illegally.  The new legislation aims to clean up the UK’s supply chains. Large businesses would have to carry out due diligence and publish information about the origin of commodities such as cocoa, palm oil and soy. Non-compliance could lead to fines. The proposed new law complements the UK’s existing efforts to make international supply chains greener. The Global Resource Initiative (GRI) is an independent task force established  by the government in 2019 to consider how the UK could reduce its global environmental footprint by slowing deforestation.Deforestation is mostly illegal and accounts for 11 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. It drives biodiversity loss, exacerbates the spread of infectious diseases, and increases the risk of extreme weather.International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith, said:“There is a hugely important connection between the products we buy and their wider environmental footprint, which is why the government is consulting today on new measures that would make it illegal for businesses in the UK to use commodities that are not grown in accordance with local laws”The consultation is open until 5 Oct 2020 and seeks views from UK and international stakeholders on whether such legislation should be introduced. Read all our updates on our Public Policy web centre. 

Aug 28, 2020
News

Giving a presentation is hard enough but now we also need to grapple with technology while keeping the audience engaged. Eric Fitzpatrick outlines how you can build on your presentation skills to effectively present remotely.  Giving presentations can be challenging at the best of times, but over the last six months, they have become a little more difficult because they need to be delivered remotely via platforms like Zoom, Webex, and Teams. We’re at the mercy of technology, feeling more distant from our audience, struggling to engage and not always certain that our message is getting through. The following ideas will help when delivering presentations remotely.  The old rules still apply Many rules that work for face-to-face presenting also work for remote presenting:Know your audience. Be clear about who you are presenting to so you can tailor your content to reflect what’s important to them. Clarify your objective. Know what you want your audience to do, think or believe at the end of your presentation. Give one message. Regardless of the length of your presentation, only ever deliver one message. The longer your presentation, the more points you will have to support that message but every time you present, deliver one message only. If your audience gets that message, that’s your job done. Structure your presentation. Build a deliberate structure into your presentation so that it is easy to follow and understand. Most presenters never include a deliberate structure, which can confuse your audience and cause them to switch off. Engagement is key. Build your presentation to include deliberate engagement techniques, such as questions, stories, humour, audience interaction. This will keep your audience enthralled and increase your chances of making sure they are still with you at the end of your presentation.   Rules for remote presentationsThe rules that are especially important for remote presenting include: Less is more. Make your presentation short. If you deliver 30 minutes face-to-face, try to cut it to 20 minutes for remote presentations. This will increase your chances of keeping your audience engaged.Slow and steady. Slow down when speaking remotely. Build-in longer pauses to allow your audience time to digest what you have said. Don’t be afraid of the silence.Visual impact. If using slides, make them stronger visually. Bigger, brighter images or graphs will provide a visual stimulus that will support your spoken word more effectively. Reinforce the message. Don’t finish with a slide that contains any of the following two words: “Thank you”, “Any questions?” or “The end”. Instead, finish with a slide that reinforces the message you want your audience to take away.  Craft your opening and closing word-for-word. The opening of your presentation is where you are most nervous, while the words you finish on have the potential to have the greatest impact on your audience. Crafting them word-for-word increases your impact at the beginning and the end of your presentation. Practice makes perfect. Practice more for remote presentations so that you can get as comfortable as possible with the content and the technology. Do a technology check in advance. Finally, there is a debate regarding whether a presenter should stand or sit when presenting. Do what is most comfortable for you. Sitting is more intimate and can build stronger connections, while standing allows you to be more passionate and energetic. Also, there will be occasions when the technology will let you down. Don’t be fazed by it. Most audiences are very understanding when this happens.Finally, the two most important considerations for remote presenting are whether you can be seen and heard. Given that this is how we will be presenting for the foreseeable future, there is value in investing in a good microphone, webcam and the right lighting. Eric Fitzpatrick is the owner of ARK Speaking and Training, the author of Persuade on Purpose: Create presentations that influence and engage.

Aug 27, 2020

As the new school year approaches, anxiety is growing, and parents are conflicted. While we all accept the need for a return to school or college, it does mean that we must trust the plans and safeguards in place will work. Most children and teens are looking forward to returning to the classroom, however, the classroom will be very different, so as parents it is important to speak to your son/daughter before the term starts and ensure they are equipped and ready to adapt to the new ‘norm’ in school. You can support your child/teen through this transition back to school life. Here we have some top tips to guide these conversations:Ask how do they feel about going back to school? Listen carefully to the answer they may say what they think you want to hear. It is likely they will have mixed emotions, while they are eager to get back to the classroom, they have been safe at home with you or a trusted person for a long time now. Let them know that these feelings are ok and that everyone will most probably be feeling something similar. Set the scene. Give them as much information as possible. Most schools have been in contact with parents regarding the plans for re-opening and advised what is expected. The best thing you can do is make sure your son/daughter is informed, even if they are very young. Younger children can be assisted if they can see what is planned, so source photos or draw with them. Reassurance is key. Children are resilient, but they will need lots of re-assurance that returning to school is in their best interest. Their safety is a priority for their teachers, but they need to be aware of their own safety too. Let them know and understand how to stay safe in school e.g. washing their hands, not touching their face, listening to the teacher, and following the new rules.Keep the pressure off. Most children can adapt easily, but it will be a tricky time as a new routine needs to be established at home and in school, so be kind to yourself and don’t expect it all to happen overnight. Offer support, reassurance, and comfort, but don’t add any additional pressure, everyone will adapt at their own pace. Look forward. Much has changed since March and some of the changes in school will not be welcome. It is important to try and remain positive. This is not permanent and will end and we will be able to look forward and our feelings will change.Seek support. The transition may be more challenging to some children and they could find it difficult to adapt. If this happens speak to the school, they will be happy to help, remember they are doing everything they can so support students. If the difficulties persist and anxiety is becoming an issue seek support from your GP.Talk openly to teenagers they may be nervous about returning to school too, a lot has changed, including them and they could have worries you may not have considered. Teenagers still look to their parents for re-assurance and so it will be important that parents demonstrate confidence with the planed return to school. They learn essential social skills and how to interact with others, so encouragement is critical. You could also view handling the uncertainty and change   which was held by our Cork District Society recently.Teachers and school staff fully appreciate the apprehension and anxiety and want this transition back to school to work for everyone. They want to support students, ensure they are comfortable in school, and can continue to learn and move forward. By working together this can be achieved, with everyone playing their part.CA Support is here to support our students, members, and their families. Contact the CA Support team on mobile: (353) 86 024 3294 or email: CASupport@charteredaccountants.ie

Aug 27, 2020