A interview with Mark Ashfield, Managing Director at Harrison Beale and Owen

Mark Ashfield, Managing Director at Harrison Beale and Owen

Mark Ashfield, Managing Director at Harrison Beale and Owen (HB&O) talks to us about what lies ahead for businesses in 2020 and beyond.

Tell us a little bit about Harrison Beale and Owen.

HB&O is a well-established local Chartered Accountancy Firm with offices Leamington Spa and Coventry. We’re far from your ‘traditional’ old school accountants. While we can certainly help with your tax queries, compliance and annual accounts, we offer a lot more to our clients.  With our approachable ‘no jargon’ approach, we are small enough to care, understand and get to know our clients’ needs, and large enough to offer an additional level of business advisory services. We offer a full raft of services to help your business all the way through its lifecycle, and our team of specialists are on hand to help our clients grow their businesses and see them perform at their optimum level.

What would you say are the opportunities and challenges for businesses in 2020?

A hugely topical area for businesses, which I personally see as an opportunity, is the focus on the environment and sustainability. Climate change is high on the global agenda, and while individuals are certainly making their mark by switching to more environmentally friendly alternatives, businesses must make an equal, if not greater, effort. By focussing on sustainability within an organisation, businesses not only have the opportunity to do their bit for the environment, but they will also appeal to the growing number of consumers who look for sustainable products and services.

In terms of challenges, once we leave the EU, there will be legislative changes that businesses will have to navigate. A prime example of this, which we will see affect our clients, is EU VAT regulations, which may no longer be applicable for British businesses. This will undoubtedly pose some challenges and it’s important that businesses keep on top of these changes to ensure they remain compliant but working with a trusted advisor who is up to speed with any new rules should help minimise any issues!

What do you think lies ahead for local businesses in the new decade?

It’s safe to say that the last few years haven’t been the smoothest of rides, not only in the local area, but for British Businesses in general. However, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom and looking forward I think the future looks promising. With the Coventry City of Culture preparations in full swing for 2021 and plans for a Creative Quarter to regenerate the old town in Leamington in negotiation, there is so much investment happening within Coventry and Warwickshire and it’s fantastic to be based in such a thriving part of the country.

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