Canada Will Bid to Host 2026 World Cup
Earlier this year, the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) announced its plans to bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The CSA has implemented a strategic four-year plan to transform the country into a leading soccer nation.
Canada will host the 2015 Women’s World Cup as well as the U-20 Women’s World Cup from August 5-24 of this year. Canada and Zimbabwe were the initial bidders for the U-20 Cup until Zimbabwe withdrew, leaving Canada as the sole contender. If the upcoming events prove successful for the country, they could pave the way for a shot at hosting the World Cup in 2026.
A safe bet
Recent hosting choices have been met with criticism amid concerns over high temperatures and allegations of corruption involving the 2022 Qatar tournament. Qatar will need to update their stadiums to comfortably accommodate attendees when the local temperature hits the expected 37°C mark during the event. FIFA will also need to complete their investigation regarding claims of financial wrongdoing linked to former Qatari board member Mohamed bin Hammam, who has been suspected of paying millions of dollars to buy support from African football officials.
Russia is slated to host the World Cup in 2018 and still has a ways to go regarding recovery from the negative publicity generated throughout the Sochi Winter Olympics. These controversies could ultimately bode well for Canada’s chances, as the country may be seen as a conservative “safe” bet when compared to other hosts or potential bidders.
The cost of hosting the Cup could be considerable. This year’s World Cup has cost Brazil an estimated $11.3 billion thus far. Most of the cost can be attributed to new stadiums and renovations: FIFA requires that the hosting city provide at least eight venues that seat 40,000-plus attendees and one stadium with a capacity of 80,000 to host the tournament final. At present, Canada’s largest venue is Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, which seats 56,302. Canada has six stadiums with capacity above the 40,000 mark. The CSA does not see a need for a lot of new construction, as many existing CFL venues are expandable.
“I believe we have enough there to put a successful bid together in the stadia that are currently available and maybe one more that would meet the highest needs of FIFA,” says Peter Montopoli, general secretary of the CSA.
Whether or not hosting will benefit the country’s economy remains to be seen. A study by Goldman Sachs found a 2.7 percent market increase for the month following the World Cup. Conversely, a study conducted by economists at the University of Hamburg in 2009 found little to no economic gains in tourism, employment or income as a result of hosting the tournament. But hosting successful global competitions in Canada could certainly elevate the profile of soccer in the country, aid in the development of new commercial partnerships and bolster the athletic industry to create more revenue and jobs in the long run.
Six issues at the top of tax and finance leaders’ agenda
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.