What a year! It’s been a long, roller coaster of a year. With ups and downs at every turn, here’s our take on the eight major things that had a real impact on the world as we know it and influenced the Accountancy and Finance world.
Let’s crack into it –
A year of politics more dramatic than the Kardashians!
2017 has been a spectacle of one politician after another in rallies that truly captivated the world over. Who could forget the ruthless tactics from both Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton in the bid to win the US elections! We’ve also seen the rise of Emmanuel Macron winning the French Presidential seat, and Angela Merkel running for her fourth term. The leaders around the world today have put on a great show. From an accountancy and finance point of view, we’re seeing the effects of politics influencing global mobility, visas restrictions, and and a tightening of immigration regulation. This has put a strain on international firms around the world in finding the right talent for skilled roles.
BREXIT – The updates, negotiations, and looming deadlines
Round after round of discussions have been had this year between government officials to finalise an agreement and reach a common ground to move forward. Two of the major points to be noted are; firstly, the post-Brexit trade deal with the EU will be ‘along the same lines’ as the ones signed with Japan, South Korea, and Canada. So, a partnership on the basis of free trade is being crafted. Secondly, financial services is currently being questioned whether it should be excluded from the Brexit trade deal. This will have a ripple effect on the economy as we know it with the financial services sector being scrutinised. The UK’s exit date is set to be March 2019. But leaders have requested a transition period for the UK pushing the date out to 2021 potentially.
Elon Musk and the 35,000 hats he sold – The Boring Company’s bid to vanquish ‘soul-destroying traffic’
In today’s business world, who hasn’t heard of Elon Musk – the guy who is on a mission to colonise Mars (yes, the planet), and revolutionising urban transport by boring tunnels deep under-ground, and of course, the CEO of Tesla. Then you will also know that he’s raised over $700k selling hats. If that’s not great marketing, then we don’t know what is! The business juggernaut’s work has a huge impact on the global economy. Global interest on Musk has been lighting fires all around the world, and it won’t be long until we’re auditing in Mars.
IFRS 17 – The new age of insurance accounting
No more comparing apples to oranges – IFRS 17 has arrived and you’ve got until January 2021 to implement this new standard into your business. IFRS 17’s purpose is to provide more clarity into the complex insurance landscape at its core. What this means for the insurance industry now is to bring together leaders from Finance, Actuarial and IT functions to work together to overcome one of the biggest accounting changes yet. We’re seeing this being reflected in the skill-sets coming into high demand from clients seeking professionals with people and IT skills. For more details on IFRS 17, click here.
Financial Services in hot demand in UK and Europe, while VAT is introduced in the Middle East GCC States
The demand for professionals with Financial Services experience had been decreasing in previous years, but now – surprise! It’s made a comeback as the UK and Europe grapple with the realities of Brexit, IFRS 17, GDPR, and other new regulations coming into play as the financial landscape continues to evolve. Across the world, the luxury of paying no tax in the UAE has come to an end as the Emirates introduces VAT (value-added tax) and the rest of the states are to follow within 18 months. The changing regulations is such a short space of time has been a huge hurdle for hiring managers as it becomes even more challenging to find the right people locally. We’re assisting our clients bring in talent from around the world to share their unique experiences and help in these changing times as major centres of trade continue to grow.
The tech world continues to ramp it up: The Latest Smartphones, VR, and Cybersecurity
The battle of the smartphone giants, Apple and Samsung, gets hotter with the arrival of the iPhone X and Samsung 8 going head on head. What’s really the latest craze about the latest model is the face recognition software and the modified design. Let’s talk about VR – this technology truly making waves in almost every industry this year. With VR moving from just gaming to the education, health, engineering, automotive, tourism, space, and more sectors – all of these technological advances are at risk of cyber-attacks that can shake the economy of entire nations. What does all this have to do with the Finance world? A lot actually. As the commercial landscape continues to rapidly digitise, the need for finance professional to be IT savvy is a rising trend we’re seeing. The old ‘switch off, switch on’ trick won’t work when you’ve had your whole system hacked into and the data extracted. Some parts of the accounting role are also changing as automation accelerates the work. It’s not unlikely that robots will take over in the near future.
Watching the Bitcoin bubble and cryptocurrencies gaining traction
We’re living in interesting times with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies surging in popularity. All the Big Four firms have their radar fixed on watching these technologies. The finance world, particularly the financial system and fintech space, is currently undergoing a transformation already and this is another spanner in the works that requires a high calibre team to confront the challenges of tomorrow. There is still a little uncertainty about the future – whether these are just hype or the beginning of a revolution, but with excitement rising among investors in global stock markets, it is worth keeping an eye on them for 2018.
This blog would be incomplete without mentioning Prince Harry’s proposal to Meghan Markle! A Royal Wedding is announced for May 2018!
Yes, we’re from the UK, and yes, we’re super excited about this! Lock it into your calendar people, it’ll be the wedding of the year. The Royal Wedding is anticipated to potentially give the UK economy the boost it needs. What does this have to do with the world of finance? We’re not too sure, but a one-off bank holiday might be on the cards. Whatever happens, we’re happy for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to tie the knot.
Safe to say that 2017 has been another huge year! With everything going on in the world, we would like to take the opportunity to thank our partners in continuing to work with us for their talent needs, and the amazing professionals who we’ve helped start a new life abroad.
We’re excited for the year ahead and looking forward to what it’ll bring!
If you’re interested in taking your career global, we’re here to help. Please get in touch with us here to talk about your move abroad with our trusted consultants.