May 19, 2020

Canadian Businesses Are Doing More with Less

Adam Groff
3 min
 Canadian Businesses Are Doing More with Less

When it comes to saving money and jobs, Canadian companies are doing it best.

More and more companies in Canada are finding new ways to cut costs without cutting jobs, which is grabbing the business world's attention.

When it comes to decreased costs and increased jobs, here are just a few ways your company can do more with less.

The Canadian Job Market

Management worldwide can learn a thing or two from Canada when it comes to successful business practices.

The Canadian job market is an impressive one and employee retention is above average.  In fact, according to Canada's National Statistic Agency, the unemployment rate for the country is only seven percent.

A lot comes into play when a company performs well, including company management teams who concentrate on doing more with less.

Top Canadian companies like Dillon Consulting, Delta Hotels and Resorts and Omers Administration Corporation put employees and their budgets first, which is a recipe for company success.

Here are a few techniques management heads can use in order to extend the company budget without losing employees.

Concentrate on Retaining Customers

Finding new customers is always a good thing, but it also results in an increase in your company's marketing budget.

If your budget is tight and the company is in fear of losing employees, your management team should encourage the marketing department to concentrate on retaining current customers, not seeking out new ones.

It's not unusual for companies both large and small to spend 50 percent or more of the budget on marketing to new customers.

By decreasing this amount and shifting the focus to current paying customers, your company can stay afloat without having to let go of employees in the process.

Budget Wisely

Everything boils down to the budget, so your marketing department should always find new ways to budget wisely.

As the following article notes, there are a number of ways to get everyone on board with the company budget, which is  “Why it's easier than you think to manage a budget” regardless of the company's size.

Basic cost cutting is the first step to budgeting success.

Your management team should go over the company budget at least once a month. This is the best way to find and cut unnecessary expenditures.

Likewise, it's a good idea to keep employees in the loop about the company's finances, especially when times are tough. Employees and executives are more willing to take a small pay cut rather than see the company go under or lose essential workers.

Take a Green Approach

There are a number of green approaches that your company can take in order to reduce overhead costs.

For starters, installing motion-sensing restroom and hallway lights in your office building reduces energy costs, which can result in major savings each month.

Reducing paper consumption by increasing email correspondence is also great for the planet and your company's budget.

Also, recycled office goods like post-consumer waste paper and refillable ink cartridges can reduce the office supplies bill. Your management team can create a green office routine by sending out eco-friendly work reminders to employees on a weekly basis.

Canadian management departments can save jobs and money by taking the "do more with less" approach for 2014 and beyond.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including business management and employee well-being.

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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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