May 19, 2020

The business of employees and family finances

Canadian businesses
Adam Groff
3 min
The business of employees and family finances

More and more working professionals have growing families, which is why businesses all across Canada are helping their employees combine family life and work life.

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There are a number of ways the business world is making it easier for employees to raise their families while also working a full-time job.

Here are just a few examples of Canadian businesses doing just that:

Family-friendly Canadian businesses

When it comes to a productive and happy workforce, many of Canada's top businesses already know how important it is to put family first. That's why a growing number of

Canadian businesses are helping their employees devote more time to their families without hurting their finances as a result.

Among the examples:

ISM Canada - This computer programming firm located in Regina offers its employees a variety of different work options, including schedule flexibility and telecommuting.

University of Toronto - The University of Toronto employs many different types of workers, including new mothers and fathers. To ensure employees with growing families are able to continue working during all stages of raising their children, the university offers onsite daycare.

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union - This Vancouver-based credit union provides all of its employees a real living wage as well as substantial family health insurance benefits.

With the family-friendly businesses above in mind, here are just a few other ways Canadian businesses are helping their employees….

Daycare subsidies

When employees return to work after a parental leave, one of the most expensive aspects of being a full-time employee and new parent is the cost of childcare.

In fact, the article, "Help with Adoption: The Costs of Raising a Child" mentions that full-time childcare can cost hundreds of dollars a week.

That's why Canadian businesses are offering employees offsite daycare subsidies in order to help offset the cost of childcare.

These subsidies, which oftentimes cover 100% or childcare costs, allow new mothers and fathers to continue working a full-time schedule.

This is also beneficial to the businesses involved because it allows them to retain their top employees even during the child raising process.

Alternative work schedules

Employers no longer consider the workday a 9 to 5 schedule.

Employers all across Canada are beginning to offer their employees alternative work schedules.

Telecommuting is the most popular version of a flexible work schedule and allows employees to complete some or all of their work from home.

However, there are new forms of schedule flexibility gaining popularity at the workplace.

For example, many businesses are allowing employees with growing families to compress their workweeks.

By completing more tasks per day, compressed workweeks are helping employees turn a 5-day workweek into a 3 or 4-day workweek. 

Parental leave extensions

Sometimes parents aren't ready to return to work after their parental leave. An employee who isn't ready to return to work isn't good for the family atmosphere or the work atmosphere.

That's why many Canadian employers are offering parental leave extensions.

These leave extensions allow employees to extend their leave of absence a few more weeks without penalty. Leave extensions are proving to be so beneficial that many businesses are even offering paid leave extensions.

From daycare subsidies to alternative work schedules, it's plain to see that Canadian businesses are putting family first.

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About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including childcare and employee health.

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Jun 8, 2021

Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda

Kate Birch
4 min
As businesses accelerate their transformation journeys, tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value. Deloitte reveals six tax trends

New Deloitte research reveals that tax leaders are under increasing pressure to add strategic value as companies accelerate business model transformation, from undergoing digital transformations to rethinking their supply chains or investing in green initiatives.

According to Phil Mills, Deloitte Global Tax & Legal Leader, to “truly deliver value to the business, the tax function needs to rethink its resourcing model and transform its technology infrastructure to create capacity and control costs”.

And the good news, according to Mills, is that tax and business leaders have more options at their disposal to achieve this.

Reflecting the insights of global tax and finance executives at global companies, Deloitte’s Tax Operations in Focus study reveals the six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda.

Trend 1: Businesses seek more strategic counsel from tax

Companies are being pushed to develop new digital products and distribution channels and accelerate sustainable transformation and this is taking them into uncharted tax territory. Tax leaders say their teams must have the resources and skills to give deeper advisory support on digital business models (65%), supply chain restructuring (49%) and sustainability (48%) over the next two years. This means redrawing the boundaries of what tax professionals focus on, and accelerating adoption of advanced technologies and lower-cost resourcing models to meet compliance requirements and free up time.

According to Joanne Walker, Group Tax Director, BT Group PLC, "There’s still a heavy compliance load today, but the vision for the future would be that much of that falls away, and tax people become subject matter experts who help program the machine, ensure quality control, and redirect their time to advisory activity.”

Trend 2: Tipping point for resourcing models

Business partnering demands in the tax department are on the rise, but 93% of tax leaders say their department’s budget is remaining flat or falling. To ensure that the tax function can redefine itself as a strategic function at the pace that is required, leaders are choosing to move increasing amounts of compliance and reporting to a combination of shared service centers, finance departments, and outsourcing providers that have invested in best-in-class technology.

Trend 3: Digital tax administration is moving faster than expected

in addition to the rising focus of the corporate tax department partnering with their business counterparts, transformative changes to the way companies share tax information with revenue authorities is also creating an imperative to modernize operations at a faster pace. Nine in 10 (92%) respondents say that shifting revenue authority demands on digital tax administration will have a moderate or high impact on tax operations and resources over the next five years—and several heads of tax said the trend is moving faster than expected.

"It’s really stepped up in the last couple of years," says Anna Elphick, VP Tax, Unilever. "Tax authorities don't just want a faster turnaround for compliance but access into a company’s systems. It's not unreasonable to think that in a much shorter time than we expect, compliance will be about companies reviewing a return that's been drafted by the tax authorities."

Trend 4: Data simplification and lower-cost resourcing are top priorities

Tax leaders said that simplifying data management (53%) and moving to lower-cost resourcing models (51%) must be prioritized if tax is to become more proactive at delivering strategic insights to the business. Many tax teams are ensuring that they have a seat at the table as ERP systems are overhauled, which is paying dividends: 56% of those that have introduced NextGen ERP systems are now highly effective at supporting the business with scenario-modeling insights. Only 35% of those with moderate to low use of NextGen ERP systems said the same.

At Stryker, “we automated the source P&L process for transfer pricing which took a huge burden off of the divisions," says David Furgason, Vice President Tax. "Then we created a transfer price database to deposit and retrieve data so we have limited impact on the divisions. We are moving to a single ERP platform which will help us make take the next step with robotics.”

Trend 5: Skillsets are shifting

Embedding a new data infrastructure and redesigning processes are critical for the future tax vision. Tax leaders are aligned — data skills (45%) and technology process experience (43%) are ‘must have’ skills in a tax department of the future, but more traditional tax specialist knowledge also remains key (40%). The trick to success will be in tax leaders facilitating the way these professionals, with their different backgrounds, can work together collectively to unlock lasting value.

Take Infineon Technologies, which formed a VAT technology and governance group "that has the right knowledge about how to change the system to ensure it generates the right reports", according to Matthias Schubert, Global Head of Tax. "Involving them early was key as we took a greenfield approach, so we could think about what the optimal processes would look like and how more intelligent systems could make an impact 

Trend 6: 2020 brought productivity improvements

Improved productivity (50%) and accelerating shifts to remote working (48%) were cited as the biggest operational benefits to emerge from COVID-19-driven disruption. But, as 78% of leaders now plan to embed either hybrid or fully remote models in the tax function long term, 34% say maintaining productivity benefits is a top concern. And, as leaders think about building their talent pipeline and strengthening advisory skill sets, 47% say they must prioritize new approaches to talent recognition and career development over the next two years, while 36% say new processes for involving tax in business strategy decisions must be established.

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