May 19, 2020

What is the forecast for Canada's energy sector?

Business
Canada
Toronto
Technology
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2 min
What is the forecast for Canada's energy sector?

If you’re interested in learning about the future of Canada’s energy sector, then you’ve come to the right place! We’re helping to educate workers in the Toronto, showing them what they can expect for the upcoming year and how to possibly prepare for change.

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Specifically, those who are currently employed by Canada’s energy sector should start preparing for another year of belt tightening in 2016—companies are forecasting a slower wage growth from reduced 2015 levels.

According to Mercer, energy firms anticipate wage gains of 2.9 per cent next year, which happens to be down from actual wage growth of 3.1 per cent in 2015. Unfortunately, wage gains this year have been down from predictions that were given via surveys conducted in June of last year. Then, wages were expected to grow by 3.7 per cent in 2015.

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A principal player from Mercer, Allison Griffiths admitted that she doesn’t remember a time in which energy didn’t have the largest wage gains of any major industry sector in Canada, even in 2015. However, that trend is obviously going to change come 2016; high-tech companies are forecasting wage gains of 3 per cent, which are outstripping the energy industry’s 2.9 per cent wage growth.

In a statement, she said, “Energy is now part of the pack—they’re in the middle there. But it’s not all wage freezes. They’re not having an increase of zero. They are still projecting some growth.

One reason behind this less than desirable news is the fact that the number of oil and gas companies is freezing wages entirely. In fact, 37 per cent of energy firms reported salary freezes for at least some of their workers this past year.

“We’re trying to do more with less,” Griffiths added. “I hear from almost every client that they’re struggling with how to possibly administer a budget that’s growing by 2.2 per cent or even by 3.2 per cent. And it’s not getting any easier this year, unfortunately.”

By comparison, in the private sector, more and more companies have decided to get rid of traditional pensions plans and various other types of expensive benefits. More so, they’ve reduced job security assurances with new work arrangements, which could ultimately alter a worker’s perception of his or her company.

Do you have any thoughts regarding Canada’s energy sector? Let us know!

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[SOURCE: The Globe and Mail ]

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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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