Carol Lynch comments used in Business Plus article - 'Scoping Brexit'

03 May 2018

Excerpt from 'Scoping Brexit' - Business Plan May 2018 edition

BDO Ireland has set up a Brexit tast force to help its clients prepare for changes looming on the horizon. The financial services firm is helping clients to assess and map out their supply chains, as well as providing guidance on the various grants and loans available to companies to carry out this assessment work. BDO has also made an online Brexit checklist available for companies to freely access.

Carol Lynch is a partner in BDO's customs and international trade services, as well as a member of the Brexit tast force. She says that BDO's work with clients involves flexible strategic planning around Brexit. "We put in place a plan to take account of a worst-case scenario (March 2019) and a best-case scenario (January 2021). Our plan is scalable to meet either case."

Businesses are still somewhat confused about how to plan for Brexit, Lynch adds. "The cannot afford to walk away from their closet market, so they are looking for suppoert in continuing to access it, while they also look to diversify. They find our Brexit planning package to be really helpful in this regard because we break down their requirements into bite-sized pieces. "We have a streamlined process that addresses essentially what SMEs are telling us are their biggest concerns."

These include:

  • Investing in support
  • Mapping the supply chain
  • Setting up customs procedures to avoid delays at the borders
  • Obtaining VAT registration in the UK
  • Looking at whether a new branch or company is required and setting this up if neccessary.

Carol Lynch believes that manufactureres have been underestimating the importance of checking their supply chains to see the UK connections before the UK leaves the EU. "Companies need to be aware of whether they are buying from suppliers who themselves are buying in products from the UK or, if they are trading with Europe, how their goods travel to or from Ireland," Lynch explains. "Most Irish goods go through the UK land-bridge and this will have a huge impact in the future if the UK is a non-EU country.

"In addition, exporters will need to check if they are responsible for import compliance and VAT, if the customer is in the UK. VAT at present is accounted for by the way of VAT returns, but going forward it will be paid at the border, which will have a huge cash-flow impact."

Once companies actually begin to start planning for Brexit, Lynch notes that they tend to become more proactive and optimistic. "We find that their biggest concern is where to start. Once they have a plan in place, they are much more confident they can tackle this issue."