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BUSINESS owners and leaders must approach 2023 with the sharpest of focus on the economy and how it affects their operations, an award-winning accountant has said.

Paul Hornby has called for hyper-vigilance amongst the region’s business community, warning that those who take their eye off the ball are likely to face unwanted consequences.

The UK’s economy is in turmoil, which has seen government borrowing soar amid the UK’s cost of living crisis.

Paul, who has been an accountant for more than 20 years and whose company works with upwards of 1,000 clients, said: “Never has it been more important to have a keen eye for detail and to ensure you are abreast of the nuances of government policy and how it might affect your business.

“We’ve just experienced one of the most tumultuous years in a generation when it comes to the economy and there are no real signs of clear blue water in 2023.

“Businesses will have to be tight on expenses, on top of supply chain costs and maximise all revenue opportunities, whilst maintaining a wider view of the economy.

“Some fundamental changes lie ahead and they will need to form a part of any budgeting or forecasting activities.”

Paul believes businesses should pay particular attention to:

● A reduction in capital gains tax allowances from £12,300 to £6,000 from April 23, with further reduction in 2024.

● A reduction in the Research and development (R&D) credit rate from 14 per cent to 10 per cent.

● An increase in corporation tax rates, from 19 per cent to 25 per cent.

Government borrowing struck £22 billion in November, jumping by £13.9 billion against the same month in 2021 amid higher interest costs and cost-of-living payments to households.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the reading represented the highest monthly figure for November borrowing since records began in 1993.

Paul said: “Business leaders will need to be hyper-vigilant next year. I believe we are in for a rollercoaster ride and a sharp focus will be required at all times.

“If you have an accountant, keep them close – if you don’t, consider appointing one as soon as possible as they will be able to help you navigate the months and challenges ahead.”