CPA Canada Business Monitor: U.S. policy is top concern for Canada

The United States tax plan and trade policy are paramount concerns for Canadian business leaders, according to a new survey conducted for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

Toronto, November 09, 2017 – The United States tax plan and trade policy are paramount concerns for Canadian business leaders, according to a new survey conducted for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

The latest CPA Canada Business Monitor (Q3 2017) finds almost three quarters of respondents (74 per cent) agree that U.S. corporate tax cuts will pose a competitive challenge for Canadian businesses, but more than half (58 per cent) say they will not impact their company’s planning over the next year.

“There is a wait and see approach right now, but the competitive landscape is changing,” says Joy Thomas, president and CEO, CPA Canada. “We have an opportunity to strengthen Canada’s position through a comprehensive review of our tax system, one that promotes fairness, simplicity, and efficiency.”

The top challenge to growth of the Canadian economy is protectionist trade sentiments in the U.S., cited by 29 per cent of survey respondents.


Optimism in the Canadian Economy

Forty-seven per cent of those surveyed are optimistic about the prospects of the Canadian economy over the next 12 months, down slightly from 50 per cent in the second quarter of 2017. In the third quarter last year, optimism stood at 21 per cent.

Forty per cent report feeling neutral about Canada’s economic outlook, while 13 per cent say they are pessimistic.

Sustainability and Canadian Business

For the purposes of this survey, sustainability is defined as embedding the management of environmental and social issues into strategy and business processes.
More than half of survey participants (61 per cent) believe sustainability issues will impact long-term value creation.

Forty-six per cent of respondents say they are already incorporating sustainability into their overall business strategy, while another 17 per cent say they plan to. 28 per cent of respondents do not embed sustainability into strategy and do not have plans to do so.

“The likelihood and effect of key environmental issues will differ by industry and company," stresses Thomas. “Today’s investors are increasingly placing value on sustainable organizations, which aligns with the Canadian ideal of good business that recognizes the value of both economic growth and social responsibility to Canada’s future prosperity.”

Methodology

The CPA Canada Business Monitor is issued quarterly, based on a survey commissioned by CPA Canada and conducted by Nielson. The report draws upon business insights of professional accountants in leadership positions in privately and publicly held companies.

For the Q3 2017 study, emailed surveys were completed by 493 of 5,036 identified by CPA Canada as holding senior positions in industry (CFOs, CEOs, COOs and other leadership roles). The response rate was 13 per cent, with a margin of error associated with this type of study ±4.4 per cent, with a confidence level of 95 per cent. Further information regarding response rate calculations can be found in the survey’s background document. The survey was conducted from September 29th to October 15th, 2017.

A background document is available online at service-okinwa.info/businessmonitor.