Business consulting services
Our business consulting services can help you improve your operational performance and productivity, adding value throughout your growth life cycle.
Business process solutions
We can help you identify, understand and manage potential risks to safeguard your business and comply with regulatory requirements.
Business risk services
The relationship between a company and its auditor has changed. Organisations must understand and manage risk and seek an appropriate balance between risk and opportunities.
As organisations become increasingly dependent on digital technology, the opportunities for cyber criminals continue to grow.
Forensic and investigation services
At Grant Thornton, we have a wealth of knowledge in forensic services and can support you with issues such as dispute resolution, fraud and insurance claims.
Mergers and acquisitions
Globalisation and company growth ambitions are driving an increase in M&A activity worldwide. We work with entrepreneurial businesses in the mid-market to help them assess the true commercial potential of their planned acquisition and understand how the purchase might serve their longer- term strategic goals.
Recovery and reorganisation
Workable solutions to maximise your value and deliver sustainable recovery
Transactional advisory services
We can support you throughout the transaction process – helping achieve the best possible outcome at the point of the transaction and in the longer term.
We provide a wide range of services to recovery and reorganisation professionals, companies and their stakeholders.
The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are a set of global accounting standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for the preparation of public company financial statements. At Grant Thornton, our IFRS advisers can help you navigate the complexity of financial reporting from IFRS 1 to IFRS 17 and IAS 1 to IAS 41.
Audit quality monitoring
Having a robust process of quality control is one of the most effective ways to guarantee we deliver high-quality services to our clients.
Global audit technology
We apply our global audit methodology through an integrated set of software tools known as the Voyager suite.
Corporate and business tax
Our trusted teams can prepare corporate tax files and ruling requests, support you with deferrals, accounting procedures and legitimate tax benefits.
Direct international tax
Our teams have in-depth knowledge of the relationship between domestic and international tax laws.
Global mobility services
Through our global organisation of member firms, we support both companies and individuals, providing insightful solutions to minimise the tax burden for both parties.
Indirect international tax
Using our finely tuned local knowledge, teams from our global organisation of member firms help you understand and comply with often complex and time-consuming regulations.
Innovation and investment incentives
Dynamic businesses must continually innovate to maintain competitiveness, evolve and grow. Valuable tax reliefs are available to support innovative activities, irrespective of your tax profile.
Private client services
Our solutions include dealing with emigration and tax mitigation on the income and capital growth of overseas assets.
The laws surrounding transfer pricing are becoming ever more complex, as tax affairs of multinational companies are facing scrutiny from media, regulators and the public
Tax policies are constantly evolving and there are a number of complex changes on the horizon that could significantly affect your business.
Outsourcing Changes to the Outsourcing legislation, specifically when offshoringSignificant changes to the dynamic of the financial services sector in recent years have shifted the paradigms in how we work. The increased digitisation of the workforce, changes in business models, globalisation, and remote working capabilities have led to a new approach to the delivery of services.
Asset management Inflation and tax planningThe recent onset of rapid inflation is an unwelcome development that is having a widespread impact on US businesses and tax planning.
European business optimism is at a record high. This is contributing to a sense of resilience in the face of powerful political forces such as Brexit and EU integration. But the rise of populism is a concern, which businesses cannot ignore when forming business plans for the coming years.
European Union business optimism sits at net 60%.[i] This is the highest figure recorded in 15 years of research. And while confidence is broad-based, the re-emergence of France in recent months is emblematic of Europe more widely.
In May last year, Emmanuel Macron became France’s youngest ever President. Since then, he has taken as an increasingly prominent role on the world stage. Look at his leadership role in publicly criticising the US pulling out of the Paris climate change accord for evidence.[ii]
If Tony Blair represented Europe through his relationship with George W Bush, and Angela Merkel did so with Barack Obama, Macron seems to be doing the same with Donald Trump.
‘The Macron effect’ is rubbing off on French business leaders. Data from our International Business Report (IBR) reveals that at the beginning of 2017 French business optimism languished at net 19%. It has since shot up to a record high of net 75%. Business-friendly policy reforms are also a likely contributing factor to this increase.
Brexit concerns are subdued
Record levels of confidence may come as a surprise. What about Brexit, the continued evolution of the European Union, and the rise of nationalism? Our research shows these issues are on business leaders’ minds. But for the most part, the outlook is one of resilience.
Brexit is a case in point. With less than twelve months to go until the UK leaves the EU, the exact nature of the future Britain-EU relationship remains uncertain. With a transition period likely, even the exact ‘departure’ date is open to questions. But firms are taking it in their stride.
A sizeable proportion of eurozone businesses believe that the membership structure of the EU will change post-Brexit. Nearly half (43%) believe it will lead to a two-tier EU membership model. But only 5% think it will lead to the EU being dissolved. One in four (26%) believe Brexit will have no impact on the EU.
A similar outlook is evident in the UK. Recent research by Grant Thornton UK found that only 22% of British firms identified Brexit strategy as one of their top five barriers to growth. And nearly half (47%) of those who said it was a top five barrier said they could overcome it.[iii]
The impact of Brexit in the eurozone
Appetite for integration remains strong
Despite the UK’s imminent departure from the EU, the political powers that be still see integration as critical to the bloc’s future. In May 2018 the European Commission published its draft budget for 2021-27.[iv] It describes the document as 'a budget that unites and does not divide'.
For European businesses, integration remains firmly on the agenda too. Across the eurozone 65% of businesses would like to see further EU economic integration, up from 63% last year. However, just 35% want further political integration. This down from 44% last year. Germany is the only country where more than half of business leaders (63%) want to see further political integration.
Outside the eurozone, Poland’s overwhelming backing for greater economic EU integration stands out. 82% of firms are in favour.
Poland is emerging as an important and influential member of the European business community. The World Bank expects 4.2% GDP growth in Poland in 2018, driven in part by low unemployment.[v] Poland is seen as geographically important in building transport and trade routes between Eastern and Western Europe. European Structural and Investment Funds totalling nearly 20 billion euros have been allocated to Poland.[vi] One of the main priorities for these funds is to “complete… trans-European transport networks and improve the country’s accessibility.”
Businesses concerned about populist sentiment
Europe’s resilience wavers most when it comes to the potential impact of populism on economic stability. One in five (19%) eurozone businesses cite the rise in popularity of nationalist political parties as the biggest threat to the economic stability of the EU. This thorn in Europe’s side has overtaken low growth rates, which was the most cited threat twelve months ago.
It is not hard to see why businesses are concerned regarding potential uncertainty. In Austria, a centre-right and far-right coalition came into power in 2017. The campaign for Catalan independence has split Spain. And in Poland, the ruling party actively promotes Polish nationalism.
Larissa Keijzer, Executive director GTIL, Regional Head Europe Network Capabilities at Grant Thornton International: “Business fear that nationalist politics will lead to policies which deprioritise cross-border trade and discourage hiring skilled foreign workers. A rise in nationalism can also signify a move towards an insular mindset that is unprepared to engage with the rest of the world.”
Flexibility is key
European businesses are united and resilient. However, nationalism looks set to remain a force in European politics. Likewise, Brexit will reshape the continent politically and legally. Therefore, businesses will need flexibility in their planning to accommodate for a range of scenarios in the coming years.
No firm wants to find itself losing market share, or market access, because it underestimated the impact of Brexit or a change in government policy. Establishing or growing a presence in markets outside Europe may be a sensible strategy for firms looking to mitigate potential risks from future instability closer to home.
[i] Net figures denote the percentage who feel optimistic minus the percentage who feel pessimistic
[ii] apnews.com - French president pokes at Trump for leaving Paris accord - 11 March 2018
[iii] - Planning for growth: uncertainty shouldn't hold you back - 20 March 2018
[iv] European Commission - EU Budget for the future - May 2018
[v] www.reuters.com - World Bank raises 2018 Polish GDP growth forecast to 4.2 pct - 27 April 2018
[vi] European Commission - European structural and investment funds - Poland