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A checklist produced by chartered accountants Rouse Partners, prompting firms to consider the potential risks posed by Brexit and its business impact, has been commended by political and current affairs think-tank the Holyrood Forum, Edinburgh, and Praxity alliance members worldwide.

The Forum used the Buckinghamshire-based firm’s Brexit Business Impact Checklist during recent briefings to the Scottish Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses. And when Praxity – the world’s largest alliance of independent accountancy firms – held its September global conference in Gleneagles, member firm Rouse Partners’ document was welcomed by delegates with overseas clients impacted by the leave decision.

Areas covered include; tax, labour, supply chain and financial Brexit risks, and firms are asked to rate the impact on their business as high, medium, low or not applicable.

Respondents are also given a range of scenarios to help their decision-making such as;  exposure to tax changes, operating with a UK parent company and EU subsidiaries (or vice versa), recruitment and relocation issues, contingency plans, contracts in EU territories, exposure to exchange rate fluctuations and data protection.

In a bid to help businesses respond to any changing economic conditions, downturn action points cover; internal communications, performance management, cash, creditors, pricing strategy, stock management and overhead reviews, marketing and customer relations.

The checklist was developed after Rouse Partners surveyed clients and contacts prior to the 23 June vote, asking them about their biggest concerns. It was distributed within days of the referendum.

Neil Relph, Rouse Partners managing partner, comments: “We wanted to help clients manage their business in real time rather than waiting to see the impact of Brexit 12 months later and then discuss the risks they face. By encouraging people to consider the potential risks now, they can do something about them to lessen the impact. I encourage all firms, no matter what their size, to undertake a strategic Brexit review of their business.”

Malcolm Warr, Holyrood Forum Edinburgh chair, agrees: “The Rouse Partners checklist is a very useful tool to help small businesses assess their specific risks after the Brexit decision. We will be referring to it in our forthcoming post-Brexit referendum briefings in Scotland.”

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