TORONTO—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 finds 74 per cent of respondents agree that U.S. corporate tax cuts will pose a competitive challenge for Canadian businesses, but 58 per cent say it 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.”
CPA Canada is one of the largest professional organizations in the world with more than 210,000 members, both at home and abroad. The Canadian CPA was created with the unification of three legacy accounting designations (CA, CGA and CMA).