16 Apr 2017 | 04.40 pm
Interview: Andy Quinn, Moore Stephens
Businesses are rethinking growth strategies after Brexit and Trump
16 Apr 2017 | 04.40 pm
ANDY QUINN, MANAGING PARTNER AT MOORE STEPHENS, WORKS ON ASSURANCE, ADVISORY AND PLANNING ASSIGNMENTS FOR BUSINESS, ADVISING ON BUSINESS STRUCTURES, CORPORATE TAX PLANNING, AND FINANCING
Activity Undoubtedly the growing economy in the last couple of years is a key factor driving fee growth in our sector. We have positioned our practice across a number of niche areas, including FDI, and the growth particularly in Dublin in recent years has been very strong. We are very excited with the pipeline of activity for 2017.
Confidence is returning to the domestic owner managed business market and as a consequence business owners are in expansion mode. We are very busy assisting OMBs in this regard.
Clients An interesting dynamic has emerged as a consequence of Brexit and the election of President Trump in the US. We are seeing business owners pause and reflect to rethink and reproof their growth strategies in light of recent events. We are working with our Moore Stephens offices in the UK and US to best understand what is happening on the ground, and we are actively relaying this intelligence back to our clients to assist them in coming to more informed decisions. This dynamic will be a feature in the short term until more certainty emerges in these two key markets for Irish business owners.
Finance There are small signs of improvement of availability of finance from traditional sources, though banks still have a significant non performing loan hangover. Workout takes time and this has a knock-on effect on how the traditional banks are utilising their liquidity. The restructuring process is holding back businesses with good potential.
As a consequence we are seeing a number of private and ISIF-backed alternative funders coming to the market, but on an equity/part control basis, servicing larger corporates or Dublin-centric companies. There is also a fragmentation of funding services, with niche operators providing working capital and asset related funding only. The future will see more financial innovation to tap the €90 billion of deposits in Ireland, and we may also see a rise in direct business to business lending.
Talent Finding suitably qualified staff has been one of the most pressing issues for the firm in recent years as we seek to expand our workforce. The consistent feedback from recruitment agencies is that there are a limited number of candidates available.
As a consequence we are more focused on trying to retain and upskill existing staff, which has led to an increase in staff costs. While we have been relatively consistent in fee levels with clients during this period, the continued upward pressure on costs will inevitably lead to fee increases in the coming years.
Technology The introduction of cloud computing and related software applications, which has yet to be fully embraced, should change the way in which businesses’ back office and finance functions operate. Ultimately it is envisaged that technology will automate a significant amount of a business’s finance function and compliance needs.
This will have a significant impact on the accountancy profession, and continue to drive the industry to ensure they act as business advisors and consultants. The accountancy professional will have to move from offering mainly compliance type solutions to offering real time business advisory services.
We are looking to roll out a complete online finance and accounting solution which will provide clients the opportunity to have smart, real time reports available to them.