Uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit negotiations is driving a fall in business confidence, according to a new members’ survey produced by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).
Nearly half of respondents (49%) said they were feeling less confident than a year ago, with a fifth saying they are ‘much less confident.’ Business uncertainty caused by the Brexit process was the biggest driver cited by nearly a quarter of respondents, followed by concerns over single market access and loss of freedom of movement.
In contrast, less than 15% reported improving confidence, and over a third (35%) said there had been no impact. More than half (51%) saw no opportunities for their organisation from Brexit.
The majority (70%) of the 4,503 accountants surveyed came from ACCA members based in the UK.
Helen Brand OBE, chief executive of ACCA, says:
‘This loss of confidence across the UK is a cause for concern. Professional accountants are embedded in every sector and industry and their views represent an important snapshot from the front-line of the wider economic outlook.
‘You can clearly see that uncertainty is the main driver. Uncertainty is no friend of business and 17 months on from the referendum the Government’s preferred direction of travel on Brexit remains unclear. The total cost in terms of investments delayed and decisions not taken is much harder to measure, but what we do know is that this uncertainty is affecting business decisions now.
‘Government needs to recognise the value of offering clarity and assurance. The Budget tried to supply provisions for a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Yet what business really need is a clear plan for protecting current strengths and a plan for future growth in a new era of global trade.
‘ACCA have long called for certainty over a transitional period post-2019 but as each month passes the value of any such period diminishes as businesses begin to put contingency plans into action.’
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Notes to Editors
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
ACCA supports its 198,000 members and 486,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 101 offices and centres and more than 7,200 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. It believes that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. ACCA’s core values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and it ensures that through its range of qualifications, it prepares accountants for business. ACCA seeks to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating its qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. More information is here: www.accaglobal.com