Global Britain? Is your accountant the bridge to international trade?
Business owners will quite understandably seek advice from many quarters when looking for inspiration, guidance or experiencing challenges. Yet, when looking for growth overseas, business owners increasingly turn to their accountant.
Whilst bankers may have the perfect answer for finance and lawyers the solution to a knotty contract or dispute, it is the connections and holistic view combined with technical guidance and broad experience of supporting different types of clients that drives businesses to their accountant for advice on overseas growth.
Your accountant is often the bridge to international trade.
Our Global Britain? report, published in September 2022, based on the global ambitions of over 600 business owners found that alongside a professional or trade body, an accountant is the first place a business turns to for advice. There are many reasons for this.
Rupert Moyle, Partner and Head of VAT and Duty at Kreston Reeves comments: “First of all, firms of accountants are often so much more than just accountants! They can support businesses across a very wide range of services – from traditional accountancy services such as accounts, audit, payroll, tax through to corporate finance, business advisory, VAT and forensic accounting to name a few. And, if they don’t provide the service you are looking for, they know someone reliable who does.
“They work closely alongside their clients over time, get to know them, understand them, they build up a level of trust. They often become their clients’ business partner, someone they turn to for advice as well as recommendations and introductions for other areas, such as introductions to overseas advisers.
“Accountancy firms are often part of an international network, for example we are a member of Kreston Global which is a network of 160 independent accounting firms across more than 110 countries. So, as well as our local, regional and national connections, we can give our clients global coverage by introducing them to trusted experts and specialists in countries across the world and by managing global projects.”
In October 2022, Kreston Global, also published their ‘Global vision and the ‘Interpreneur’ mindset’ report based on the findings of 600 business leaders in six countries to better understand what drives entrepreneurs to expand internationally and the challenges they face when doing so, or in planning to do so.
Its survey found business leaders are mostly looking for good local business connections, agility, and the ability to quickly grasp the vision of the business in their professional advisers when it comes to trading internationally.
All of the areas listed are the skills every good accountancy firm brings to its clients.
Emily Baldwin, Outsourcing Senior Manager at Kreston Reeves, comments “Being part of the Kreston Global network means we have trusted contacts across the world who can provide advice and guidance on local rules and regulations and will have all the local business connections you will need when thinking about setting up or expanding overseas. We and they can then work together to find the right solution for our client, whether on setting up, business structure, tax and/or other consequences and considerations.
“Our survey also found that the top challenge when it comes to trading, or considering trading internationally, is ‘tax, VAT and duties’. Don’t let this hold you back, your accountants can consider the options available to you and support and guide you on these areas too.”
Our Global Britain? survey found that of the businesses that did not already trade overseas, 43% are either actively planning to or are likely to consider expanding overseas in the next three years.
If your business is considering setting up or expanding overseas, speak with your accountant or business adviser or get in touch with us here.
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