Canada’s Senior Finance Executives Forecast Shrinking Markets, Rising Input Prices, and Potential Increase in Cost of Capital as Risks to Growth over the Next 12 Months

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CFO Alliance Canada study of more than 135 senior finance executives reveals that one in four companies will be looking to expand internationally

Toronto, April 21 – Canadian senior finance executives are bullish on the health of the US economy over the next twelve months, and have moderate confidence in the Canadian and international economies, reveals a new report written by The CFO Alliance Canada. One in four companies will be looking to open operations in international markets but in an unstable global political climate, many find evaluating their exposure to risk to be an ongoing challenge.

“Almost half of the companies in our survey are optimistic that they will be able to meet their growth objectives this year, however, senior finance executives are still keeping a close eye on enterprise risk," says Ramona Dzinkowski, President of The CFO Alliance Canada. Risk factors that will impact on their ability to achieve their revenue targets this year include:

  • Shrinking Markets – 85%
  • Rising Input Prices – 76%
  • Increasing Cost of Capital – 66%
  • Increased competition due to industry consolidation – 64%
  • Changing environmental regulation – 58%
  • Supply chain disruption – 49%
  • New foreign competition – 46%
  • New domestic competition – 45%
  • Falling asset values – 42%

“Continued growth will also require that companies put more emphasis on international markets”, says Tom Gardner, Canadian Director of Radius, and senior finance executives need to ensure they understand not only their risk exposure, but all the administrative and organizational challenges that go along with that”. The report reveals over one half of companies with international operations will be putting more of a priority on growing their overseas operations.The major challenges of expanding internationally for Canadian companies will include: Evaluating risk exposure (45%), managing tax implications (44%), integrating information and financial systems (30%), changing regulatory environments (29%) and conforming to different accounting and reporting standards (29%).    

Many companies will also be putting greater emphasis on attracting and retaining talent this year. However, one in four executives felt that there was a shortage in Canada of experienced candidates and 30% felt that new graduates expected higher wages and salaries than they were willing to pay. According to Suzanne Godbehere, Head of ACCA Canada, attracting and retaining talent for qualified accounting professionals specifically, can be expected to grow even more difficult. “As the baby boomers in Canada continue to retire, she says, companies will increasingly have to expand their reach to attract internationally qualified accountants.”

“In order ensure continued and sustainable growth, many companies will also be spending more on training,” said Ramona Dzinkowski. “They’ll also have to turn to the expertise of external consultants or simply have to do more work with the pool of talent and resources they already have.”

This study was conducted in the first quarter of 2015 and represents the views of senior financial executives in Canadian companies from a wide range of industry groups. It was sponsored by ACCA Canada and Radius. To receive a full copy of the report, please contact Ramona Dzinkowski.

About CFO Alliance
The CFO Alliance is a professional community of Finance Executives that provides a knowledge-sharing culture with the goal of bringing together a wide array of decision makers, combining a multitude of perspectives, expertise areas, and deliberation to arrive at the best ideas and solutions. In addition to our role as the leading facilitator of valuable professional connections, we also provide unique continuing education and collaborative opportunities. We create value for Executives and their organisations by providing the tools and opportunities need to achieve unprecedented success.

About ACCA Canada
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for accountants and financial professionals. ACCA offers business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. ACCA supports its 170,000 members and 436,000 students (around 2,700 members and 1,200 students in Canada) in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. Through our public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

About Radius
Radius helps businesses move into new markets, manage overseas operations and outsource entire global accounting and administrative functions. Services include integrated international accounting, finance, banking, tax, HR, legal and compliance services, as well as a software platform that allows you to manage all of your global operations from your desk. Radius combines the collective talents and resources of the former Nair & Co and High Street Partners. To assist its clients, Radius has developed OverseasConnect, a tailor-made cloud-based software platform that manages international business operations. Radius is headquartered in Bristol, UK, and supports more than 6,000 client operations in more than 80 countries, with core offices in the U.K., India, China, U.S., Japan and Singapore.

First published by The CFO Alliance, 2015.
The CFO Alliance
PO BOX 921, Conshohocken, PA 19428

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Ramona Dzinkowski
RND Research Group
+1 (905) 875-4739
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