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Embracing the cultural mosaic

by Sydney Loney

Is your team culturally diverse and inclusive?  Here’s why it should be.

Many organizations cite diversity as one of their core values and gloss over issues of inclusiveness as someone else’s problem, but just pop by their offices around lunchtime and what you see might tell a different story.  “In day-to-day interactions, people still tend to congregate with people who look like them,” says Wendy Cukier, vice-president of research and innovation at Ryerson University in Toronto, and founder of The Rotman School of Management’s Diversity Institute.  “They’re not deliberately trying to exclude others, they’re just following behavioural patterns they’re probably not even aware of.  Who you did – and didn’t – have lunch with will tell you a lot.”

It’s called unconscious bias, it’s the biggest hurdle to creating a culturally diverse workplace and it’s everywhere.  “In spite of some progress in the past five years, racial minorities and immigrants are still excluded from informal networks and continue to face discrimination and barriers to advancement,” Cukier says.

Recruitment and hiring, for example, are anything but bias-free.  In 2012, researchers at the University of Toronto studies hiring practices in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and found that applications submitted by people with English-sounding names were 47% more likely to receive callbacks than those with Indian or Chinese names in Toronto, 39% more likely in Montreal, and 20% more likely in Vancouver.  Read more….

Reprinted from CPAMagazine, June/July 2016, with permission Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, Toronto, Canada.  Any changes to the original material are the sole responsibility of EPR Canada Group Inc. and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Pay up for else!

By the time you read this you will have filed your 2015 Personal Income Tax Return. The best scenario is you neither owe any tax nor own any tax refund. But if you earned income from a business, earned investment income, and did not make any instalments during the year, it is very likely you will owe tax to Canada Revenue Agency.

CRA is the official collection agent not just for income taxes but also for other programs like GST, payroll deductions, EI and CPP overpayments, overpayments of benefits like the Canada Child Tax Benefit and the GST/HST credits, defaulted Canada Student Loans.

CRA has powerful authority and powers to collect tax debts, and it should not be ignored.

If a taxpayer has a tax liability but for unforeseen reason is not able to pay, the first rule is “do not ignore CRA request to pay” but communicate to CRA and make arrangements to pay the debt over time. When negotiating debt repayments the taxpayer may have to make a full financial disclosure, to prove the financial difficulty.

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5 things to do before leaving the office for vacation

by Diane Gottsman

The key to a relaxing summer vacation is taking the time to leave your work life in order.  The ultimate goal is to have systems in place so business continues smoothly in your absence, your vacation won’t be interrupted unnecessarily, and you can return from your trip and back to the office without skipping a beat.  Follow these 5 business etiquette tips to assist your colleagues and clients while you are away.

1.  Let people know when you will be gone.   


Businesses: You can pay your taxes online through your bank or directly on the CRA website

Did you know?

In the event of a Canada Post postal disruption, you can use online payments to pay your business taxes!  It’s faster, easier, and cheaper than mailing a cheque to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), especially if you are making more than one payment per year.  Even if a postal disruption occurs, you are still required to make every effort to submit your payment on time to CRA.  The following online services can help you meet your tax obligations on time to avoid late penalties and charges.

Read more….

To 2017 and beyond

by Dexter Brown

Would you let a digital assistant suggest which clothes to buy?  Or artificial intelligence advise you on where to invest?  If such technologies sound decades away, get ready:  they’ll be here sooner than you think.

Imagine a word where you can have anything you can afford, where you don’t have to hunt deals because they hunt you, where you can print replacement parts for office or household items at the  local mall or pay for a product with nothing but your smartphone and your fingerprint.  That may seem futuristic, but all that is either already here or coming sooner than you might think.

Gartner Inc., a New York-based technology research and advisory company, recently released its top predictions on how digital innovations will dramatically change the way we shop and do business over the course of the next few years.  Gartner’s forecast – along with that from several tech and shopping experts – may not be the utopia you’ve been hoping for, but there is still a lot to get excited about.


In 2016, more than US$2 billion in online shopping will be performed exclusively by mobile digital assistants.

Mobile digital assistants aren’t just those voice-activated bots on mobile devices; any software or system that performs a task can be considered a digital assistant.

Gartner says that, very soon, we should be able to ask them to do complex tasks such as arrange the perfect date night with dinner, movie and an Uber ride.  Read more……


This article is published from CPA Magazine, March 2016 issue, with permission of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, Toronto, Canada.

Any changes to the original material are the sole responsibility of EPR Canada Group Inc. and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.