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55 (150) 2022

Editorial note

Editorial Note by Michael Dembinski and Dorota Kierbiedź

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Inflation is at an alarming level. Working capital and investment capital has suddenly become far more expensive. Uncertainty is pervasive. How should businesses react to such an economic environment? How are companies' business models affected by high inflation, interest rates and volatility? Finance may hold some answers.

This issue of Contact Magazine Online focuses on finance in the broadest sense - the flows of money into and around Poland. BPCC members write about finance from their perspectives from across different sectors, showcasing some practical financial solutions.

We start with three interviews – Dagmara Wojnar, partner associate, head of CFO Advisory at KPMG discusses the changing role of the chief financial officer, and how strategic leadership is becoming more important than merely being on top of the numbers. Dariusz Kucharski, CEO and Country Head of CMB of HSBC in Poland, says that even in face of current turbulence, fighting climate change should remain the key priority. More than ever before, the financial sector is dependent on tech for operations and security, and Poland has become an attractive location for the sector to set up tech hubs – Anna Urbańska, CEO of Standard Chartered’s Global Business Services Poland, explains why.

As well as the interviews, we have 18 articles, grouped by subject area…

Green – the colour of finance

Europe needs €350 bn extra investment a year over this decade to meet its 2030 emissions-reduction target in energy systems. The appetite for financing is huge; public funds aren’t enough. Creating a green economy means aligning public and private sources of finance. Roksana Kałużna-Bałazy from White & Case explains the role of green bonds and loans.

To what extent has the financial service sector embraced ESG? Tomasz Barańczyk, partner, PwC Polska explains that the financial industry’s view of sustainability is changing fast, and that business needs to keep up if it is to attract investment.

Skills for the sector

Sharon Machado from ACCA explains how learning and development equips accountants to better serve their purpose, to be sustainable business and finance professionals that business and society demand them to be.

The ability to work in the finance industry depends on a sound understanding of mathematical principles, time-management skills, attention to detail, and fluency across multiple languages. Berlitz can train finance specialists with cross-border communications.

Regulating the new trends in finance

In recent years, investing in cryptoproducts has become more popular than expected on the Polish market. Pawel Jastrzebski from Bird & Bird looks at how Poland is regulating the cryptocurrency landscape.

Meanwhile, as the rapid development of the crypto-asset market begins to create new classes of risk, Maciej Kuranc from Kochański & Partners considers the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets  (MiCA) – Europe’s future regulation on crypto-asset transactions.

Recruitment challenges facing the financial sector

The demand for financial department specialists remains high in nearly every area of the market – in particular in SSC/BPO, e-commerce, and real estate. Michał Opioła, member of the management board, Michael Page Poland asks how the employment prospects and wages of finance specialists are likely to develop in the coming months.

A key factor determining the career decisions of finance experts is the strength of the relationship with their immediate supervisor. Managers who develop talent and support career progression are therefore an invaluable resource in any attraction and retention strategy, says Karolina Lis, director at Hays Poland.

Magdalena Korgól and Jacob Kendall from Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s largest digital wealth-management provider, tell the story of how its technology centre came to be in Warsaw, automating processes that used to be carried out manually.

Cost reimbursement for remote working – allowance or a lump sum – what would put less strain on the employer's wallet? Karolina Kanclerz and Łukasz Marzec from PCS Paruch Chruściel Schiffter Stępień | Littler Global consider the new labour code.

Taxation – carrots and sticks

Miłosz Saramak and Marta Tchórzewska from KR Group, outlines the tax incentives for business expansion that the Polish government has rolled out – these are more generous than many business people realise, especially if you are looking at new export markets..

Does your business have the technology and processes in place to cope with e-invoicing? Kamila Sanders, from Cash Back Polska (part of the VAT IT Reclaim group) explains that this is an urgent compliance issue. If your business does not currently have e-invoicing compliance obligations, the chances are that it will in the near future.

Solid practical advice

The big trends shaping the economy this year are led by the need to cut overheads. Pawel Ornatek, country manager Poland, IWG, says that companies need to be extraordinarily agile and flexible in implementing cost reduction initiatives, and are increasingly realising that hybrid working brings lower costs.

Polish exports to the UK are on the rise, despite Brexit. However, Polish businesses selling goods to the UK face growing challenges. Jakub Makurat, country manager for Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and the Baltic States, Ebury lists how they can stabilise financial flows, manage risk and increase the profitability of doing business across borders.

Credit vs factoring – which is better? By Bibby Financial Services This article looks at how firms can lower their financing costs, avoiding high interest rates – in other words – what are the optimal financing methods during a time of crisis?

The long view

Marzena Richter ACA, Staniszewski & Richter, Polish-registered auditor and BPCC board member, was reading an article in the member’s magazine of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) in 1990, entitled Poland needs auditors. It turned out for her to be a call to action; she looks back over her 30 years in the profession in Poland.

The Mother House – helping for 25 years! by Agnieszka Kłos-Siddiqui, country manager, Provident Polska. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was unprecedented event that tested the empathy and humanity of each of us – and for the business community. Provident's board decided to help refugees who fled the war-torn country.

And finally…

If your Polish business has been negatively affected by Brexit, the Re_Open UK programme administered by the Łódź Special Economic Zone has over 500m złotys from the EU’s Brexit Adjustment Reserve to help you make up the losses and re-enter the British market.

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