Marco Perron
Partner | CPA, CA, CRMA | Assurance

Private and public sectors are both entering the era of the cloud computing. The security of their operations should be ranked among their top priorities.

Digital technologies create extensive data confidentiality and information system security challenges for both governments and businesses. However, these developments also offer numerous benefits.

Easier management

Nick Markou, Senior Manager at our firm, explains: “Offering the opportunity to automate processes and data thanks to cloud technology is absolutely a game-changer for organizations.”

Implementing cloud technology is helping governments to improve business flexibility despite their back-end silo systems. This makes it easier for experts and stakeholders to collaborate.

Adopting clout technology makes it easier for organizations and businesses to manage digital technology and IT security.

Security first and foremost

Operating in the field of cyber security requires the correct implementation of security standards and world leading best security practices in order to meet clients’ expectations.

“At the moment, we are the first company in Canada to receive Government of Canada security authority written approval to operate Protected A and Protected B systems in a public cloud environment,” says Greg Janson, Manager.

Peace of mind in the cloud

Nick Markou adds: “What we are offering is similar to the self-service car offer: it’s like renting a car. It’s simple and efficient and meets your needs, whereas owning a car implies having to maintain it by changing parts when needed, which adds costs, it’s time consuming and, in the end, defeats the purpose. It’s the same for cloud migration technology.”

Businesses and organizations do not want to allocate a complete department’s resources to create their own technology and servers.

Nick Markou goes on to say: “You just need to access the technology and that’s what we are offering to the government. Easy, simple and secure. We are taking care of this, so clients can focus on their core business.”

Our in-house team members offer a completely holistic cyber-security practice committed to delivering security solutions from system conception to disposal, safeguarding your most crucial organizational assets and enabling you to fulfil your obligations.

Our solutions

We offer cloud migration business services to governments and public companies. That includes unique methodologies, system architectures, communications and reports that quickly and easily put you in the picture, in detail and within the larger context of your operation, identifying gaps and risks, and proposing effective mitigation measures.

Our team of experts will help you solve your challenges by designing and implementing a matrixed, holistic cyber-security program that meets your expectations.

About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Consulting Inc.

RCGT Consulting Inc. provides a comprehensive range of services. Our primary focus areas include: internal audits, cyber security, audits of contributions, digital forensics and forensic accounting, management consulting, and other general consulting services such as cost reductions and process improvement. Our client base includes the federal government, provincial governments, municipal sectors, universities and colleges, and medium to large enterprises.

09 Jul 2019  |  Written by :

Marco Perron is a Partner at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. He is your expert in assurance for the...

See the profile

Next article

Mandatory Sales Tax System Registration for Certain Non-resident Suppliers in Saskatchewan: A Reminder

Mandatory registration: Changes retroactive to april 1, 2017

While more than a year has passed since the amendments to Saskatchewan’s provincial sales tax (PST) system were assented to, it’s important to remember the main features of these changes since, even today, they have a significant impact on some commercial entities doing business in that province.

As a reminder, on May 30, 2018, Royal Assent was given to the amendments proposed by the Government of Saskatchewan regarding the PST registration criteria for non-resident suppliers. These changes, effective retroactively to April 1, 2017, broaden the tax base to include non-resident suppliers who make sales of tangible property and certain other taxable services to consumers in Saskatchewan.

Read the document below for more information.

Next article

In recent weeks, family law has been the topic of a Quebec government public consultation. To maximize this necessary reform, it must include a review of family taxation. The reason is quite simple: there is a disconnect between tax rules and the reality of today’s families.

An in-depth review is needed

It’s obvious that the Canadian tax system is simply outdated as it applies to both our SMEs and our families. In fact, our country’s tax system has not undergone an in-depth review since the 70s. Today, the Canadian and Quebec family taxation system is simply a patchwork of measures that have been added over time without changing rules or making any in-depth amendments to the legislation. The result is ongoing involuntary breaches of neutrality.

The neutrality of the tax system for families was reviewed by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton and the UQAM’s École des sciences de la gestion (ESG UQAM) in an innovative study published in September 2018. The study showed that in more than 70% of the situations studied, the tax rules are not neutral depending on a family’s social profile and economic class, and the couple’s legal status. One of the unfortunate consequences of these breaches of neutrality is that Canadian and Quebec families are forced to make choices based on tax implications rather than on the needs of the family’s situation.

Consider for example governments’ main incentives such as the TFSA, RRSP, RESP and RDSP. When deciding on a type of savings, families with limited financial resources must make a decision regarding these programs on the basis of tax rules, to the detriment of their real needs, limiting their financial flexibility. Moreover, consider that family businesses are still faced with tax inequity on an intergenerational business transfer at the federal level. Provincially, family businesses must also deal with transaction restrictions such as the requirement to undertake a total, rather than a partial, business transfer or the inability to retain an interest after the sale.

Quebec and Ottawa must both work on this

The Quebec government can play a key role in the Canadian family taxation reform. The current consultation on family law initiated by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec, Sonia Lebel, is an opportunity to look at potential options regarding tax changes for a more extensive review of family-related measures. By changing the tax rules so that they are better suited for today’s families and no longer impact taxpayers’ choices, Quebec would be sending a clear message to Ottawa to harmonize measures and reduce the gaps between tax policies and family dynamics.

Our study already identified several areas for consideration in the course of the current initiative.

For example, why not introduce a system based on family rather than individual income, implement a tax rate structure based on the size of the family, create a registered general savings plan (RGSP) or authorize the possibility of a rollover at the time of death to a trust established exclusively for a dependent child?

The Quebec government and Ottawa should both be encouraged to review family taxation so that it’s more representative of our Quebec and Canadian values, such as equity and equality. It’s in everyone’s interest.

Let’s take action together!

This article appeared in La Presse + on June 25, 2019 (in French).

Next article

Marco Perron
Partner | CPA, CA, CRMA | Assurance

Risk management is key to an organization’s success. Because they are exposed to all types of threats, organizations must implement a rigorous process to counter these threats and strategies for dealing with and reducing them.

An effective risk management strategy not only avoids pitfalls and provides a means to react before it is too late, but it also builds trust and confidence that reassures your customers, business partners and investors.

In the case of a publicly listed, high-growth international company with offices on several continents, such as one of our clients, you can see why such a strategy is essential.

The client, with current sales of more than US$1B, wanted a solid base on which to build its expansion by reinforcing its risk management and internal audit procedures.

The client called on our experts for support in developing and implementing an enterprise risk management framework (ERM framework) and improving the related audit controls and reports.

A rigorous process

During this extensive three-year assignment, we worked closely with the directors, officers and various department managers in several countries.

The assignment consisted in defining the company’s main business risks and risk tolerance, then setting procedures to monitor and identify them. All major risks, whether technological, financial, political or other, were taken into consideration.

At the start, our experts undertook numerous consultations within the organization to gain a clear understanding of its operations, industry and issues. These discussions provided an inventory of the company’s risk exposure and helped determine the top twenty.

This was followed by a workshop during which directors and officers discussed the risks and existing controls and ranked the top twenty by importance (i.e. their impact on the organization and the probability of their occurrence).

Using our proposed methodology, these discussions provided the means to set the tolerance level for the main risks and a framework to monitor the situation and notify the directors and officers of any problem.

Determining the tolerance level for the various risks is a complex exercise that requires careful consideration. For example, it was decided that the ten main risks would be discussed by the Board of Directors (BD) every three months and that for the others, the BD would only be notified when the risk exceeded a certain threshold.

For an e-commerce company, for example, the threshold could be the number of times the site was out of service during the month.

Efficient monitoring

Working with the client, we then developed control methods and tools to monitor the main risks in terms of the established tolerance levels.

Over a given period, our experts gathered data on the progress of mitigation strategies and situations where the risk tolerance was exceeded. Our team prepared quarterly updates, which it submitted to the BD’s Audit Committee.

We also transferred our knowledge and supported the individuals responsible for risk management in the various departments to help develop their self-sufficiency in monitoring and preparing the required audit reports for the company’s officers and directors.

Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton - image

Numerous benefits

Our risk management advisory services provided numerous benefits for our client, including:

  • The client now has a process and proactive, consistent control measurements to detect, assess and mitigate risks;
  • The framework helps reduce growth-related risks;
  • BD reporting was improved and officers are better informed about risks and mitigation strategies;
  • Everyone in the company is more aware of risk management and the related benefits.

As was the case with our client, implementing a global risk management strategy can prove beneficial for any medium or large-size business. It’s an excellent way of ensuring that information is circulating effectively in the organization. It improves the BD’s business decisions and reaction time when issues arise. It also serves to enhance credibility, in particular with financing companies.

20 Jun 2019  |  Written by :

Marco Perron is a Partner at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. He is your expert in assurance for the...

See the profile