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Accountants see Brexit as a risk rather than an opportunity, survey reveals

Nearly half (40%) of professional accountants working in financial services globally see Brexit as a risk with only 16% identifying it as an opportunity, according to a survey by the ACCA.

ACCA surveyed 271 members worldwide working in financial services organisations and found that the perceptions over Brexit varied greatly according to the size of the organisation. From the larger organisations, 47% of the respondents see Brexit as a risk and 13% see it as an opportunity. Yet respondents from SMEs seem to be more optimistic with 31% seeing it as a risk and 21% seeing it as an opportunity.

The survey also highlighted a certain level of unpreparedness amongst financial services organisations as nearly a quarter (24%) of the respondents stated that they had no plans or were unclear about what to do.

Responding to the survey, ACCA chief executive Helen Brand said: “The financial services sector has a key role to play in helping organisations navigate the challenges and complexities of Brexit but a lack of detail from policy makers in the UK and Brussels is hindering their ability to do so.”

Perceptions over Brexit’s potential impacts also varied according to the size of the organisation the respondents worked in.  While 30% of respondents from SMEs thought Brexit would not affect their organisation, only 21% of respondents from larger organisations shared that view.

ACCA’s director of professional insights, Maggie McGee said: “SMEs seem more likely to view Brexit as an opportunity compared to larger organisations, who appear to be more cautious and concerned about the global economic and regulatory outlook. Yet SMEs are also less likely to have begun preparations, possibly due to a lack of capacity and avenues for seeking advice.” 

The report can be accessed here.

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