May 19, 2020

Financial markets dip following Donald Trump's victory in the US

politics
Donald Trump
Jess Shanahan
2 min
Financial markets dip following Donald Trump's victory in the US

While global markets haven’t tumbled as far as predicted, there’s been an obvious downturn since it was announced that Donald Trump had claimed victory over Hilary Clinton in the race for the US presidency. 

As the world readied itself for the official announcement of Donald Trump as President-elect, futures on the Dow Jones fell around four percent as investors braced themselves for the news. Since Trump’s victory speech, however, the markets have rallied somewhat meaning losses aren’t quite as severe as expected. The US stock market is now expected to lose only two percent. 

Markets often dip in times of political change, especially when the result is a late-game surprise, but Trump is already doing his best to reassure investors. Since announcing his pledge to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure, the markets have calmed.

Canada’s economy is based largely on foreign trade, with America being its biggest trading partner. So how Trump handles trade going forward is going to heavily impact Canada. Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne said to the BBC: “Our fate is absolutely inextricably linked to the United States. If we have a partner south of the border that isn't interested in getting a softwood lumber deal or making sure we continue our relationship with the auto sector, that's very, very bad for the province and it's bad for the country."

The worry for investors is that Trump’s aggressive approach to trade would have a negative impact on the US economy too. This has had an effect across the world with many Asian markets seeing losses narrow towards the end of Wednesday trading. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down by 5.4%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong is trading 2.2% lower and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.6%.

The Mexican peso, the asset predicted to swing most violently depending on the presidential vote, plunged. When Clinton was showing early signs of strength, the peso rose to a two-week high but soon dropped 13 percent as a string of important states were called for Trump. 

The UK’s FTSE 100 index was down about 0.5% to 6,812 in the first hour, a much smaller fall than expected and it has since recovered.

The current strength of the global economy could be the reason the markets haven’t fallen as far as predicted. Another factor is that despite the Republicans winning Congress as well as the presidency, Trump might struggle push his promises through as his views differ from those of many other Republicans.

Since the result was announced the Canadian immigration website has crashed and the Google search trends for ‘moving to Canada’ have spiked. 
 

Image: Bastiaan Slabbers

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Jun 8, 2021

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

Tax
Compliance
financeleaders
Deloitte
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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