The Grant Thornton International IFRS team has published a new guide, Under control? A Practical Guide to IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements. This guide is a useful tool that will assist management in transitioning to and applying IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements.

By issuing IFRS 10 in May 2011, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) introduced new requirements on assessing control. IFRS 10 redefines “control” and provides extensive new guidance on applying the new definition. IFRS 10 applies to all investees and replaces both IAS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements and SIC-12 Consolidation – Special Purpose Entities.

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The Grant Thornton International IFRS team has published a new external guide: IAS 7: Statement of Cash Flows – a guide to avoiding common pitfalls and application issues. The guide aims to:

  • remind management of the basic requirements for preparing the statement of cash flows;
  • highlight interpretative and practical application issues noted by regulators and commentators; and
  • provide insights on avoiding the common pitfalls and application issues that regulators and our IFRS experts see in practice.

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Simon Gareau
Senior Manager | Lawyer, D.E.S.S. Fisc. | Tax

Did you know that, under certain circumstances, you can claim a tax deduction for purchasing Canadian works of art?

Whether they are individuals, partnerships, corporations or trusts, taxpayers who acquire an eligible work of art can claim an annual capital cost allowance equal to 20% of the amount paid for federal purposes and 33 1/3% of the amount paid for Quebec purposes.

Eligible works of art

Eligible works of art are:

  • Prints, etchings, drawings, paintings and other similar works of art whose cost is not less than $200;
  • Hand-woven tapestry or carpets, or handmade appliqués, whose cost is not less than $215 per square metre;
  • Engravings, lithographs, wood engravings, or maps made before 1900;
  • Antique furniture or any other antique object, produced more than 100 years before it was acquired and whose cost is not less than $1,000.

Conditions

  • The work of art must have been created by an artist who was a Canadian citizen or permanent resident at the time it was created;
  • The work of art must have been acquired from a person with whom the purchaser was dealing at arm’s length;
  • The work of art must have been acquired solely for the purpose of generating business income, for example, to decorate the reception area, a conference room, hallway or a shareholder’s office, and be visible to the enterprise’s clients.

In the future, taxpayers who sell an eligible work of art that subsequently appreciates in value, must pay tax on the taxable capital gain and, as necessary, add the recapture of the capital cost allowance claimed over the years to the their business income.

Lastly, taxpayers also have the option to donate works of art to charitable organizations and obtain a charitable contribution credit.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the owning works of art as part your business activities, or for all other inquiries.

20 Jul 2012  |  Written by :

Mr. Gareau is your expert in taxation for the Sherbrooke office. Contact him today!

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Jean-François Boudreault
Partner | Management consulting

In recent years, businesses have been trying every which way to reinvent themselves to become more competitive. Some have optimized their processes to reduce operating costs, while others have improved their management processes. However, as the pool of competent resources grows smaller, effective and optimal human resource management has become a common goal.

Businesses have been dealing with this issue for many years, and it will only worsen as time goes on. Managers will need to invent a whole array of strategies to attract and retain the best human resources. A research report by human resource specialist, Mercer, has revealed that half of Canadian workers are indifferent about their employer. This trend is a serious issue that does not bode well for business productivity. As such, how can you, as an employer, make sure that your employees are giving their all? There is one simple, easy-to-apply tactic that can optimize employee productivity: recognition.

A growing practice

A 2011 Conference Board of Canada study of employee rewards and recognition programs in Canadian organizations indicated that 97% of these organizations have such a program in place. The average annual amount spent on recognition is $123 per employee in the public sector and $208 per employee in the private sector.

If you recently conducted an organizational climate or satisfaction survey in your organization, the results may have shown that recognition is a strong motivator, perhaps even more so than salary. Human resource specialists and experienced managers all agree that recognition is a very powerful management and mobilization tool. In fact, an international survey by another human resources specialist, Aon Hewitt, revealed that employee recognition is a strong engagement driver that ranks far ahead of compensation.

In light of these findings, how can employers use recognition efficiently and consistently so that employees feel involved, accountable, motivated and valued and actively contribute to the organization’s success?

Recognition program: a few questions

Before an organization introduces a recognition program, it must consider three points. It needs to:

  1. Define the initiative’s objectives: does it want to recognize behaviour, competencies, effort or results?
  2. Determine how employees will be recognized: individually or as a group; with a monetary or a non-monetary reward?
  3. Determine the type of recognition, based on the context:
  • Informal: If employees have done their work very well, if client meetings have gone well or if employees have done a very good job of representing the company at an event, management or supervisor recognition would be informal (pat on the back, word of thanks, forwarding of an acknowledgement email from a client. etc.),
  • Formal: the employer sets up a structure – ideally with some employee participation – to recognize special employee work or initiatives. This could be done with a breakfast meeting, a “happy hour” event, the presentation of an award in an informal setting, provided it’s been organized by management. Such events provide an opportunity to recognize individuals or groups before their peers or even clients or business partners.

There are many small ways to recognize employees and promote their commitment, for example:

  • Personalized thank you notes;
  • Acknowledging significant life events (birth, marriage, etc.);
  • Authorizing some time off after a particularly intense work period;
  • Inviting employees for dinner;
  • Forwarding praise about employees from clients or business partners.

To improve success

Once these methods have been clarified, it’s important that all managers be informed of the guidelines so that the various initiatives selected by managers are standardized and fair. Additionally, recognition and reward programs implemented by employers should be consistent with employee wishes.

However, a number of prerequisites are key to ensuring that these initiatives actually achieve their intended objective. Here are a few that will bolster the effect:

  • The recognition must be sincere. A stock greeting or thank you card, as nice as it may be, could have the opposite effect. The employee will feel that he or she is not even worth the effort of a few personal words of praise;
  • Act immediately. Recognizing someone days (or weeks) after the fact has much less impact;
  • Be positive and do it in person. Managers should talk to employees directly rather than sending an email.

Positive results

Recognition is a simple concept that is sometimes trivialized by senior management and some human resource specialists. Yet, it has a proven track record with employees. Additionally, it can easily be adopted by all managers in an organization. It’s everyone’s responsibility to adopt simple but telling ways of showing recognition on a daily basis. The best way is to instil recognition practices in the corporate culture. With such an approach, managers will see higher staff retention levels and, perhaps even improved organizational competitiveness.

09 May 2012  |  Written by :

Jean-François Boudreault is a partner at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. He is your expert in human...

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