~ U.S. investment far greater ~
VANCOUVER/OTTAWA, April 25, 2012 /CNW/ - Low investment in and adoption of information and communications technology (ICT) by Canada's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is a contributing factor to Canada's productivity challenge, says a report by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada).
ICT, a sub-group of machinery and equipment (M&E), is the foundation for technological advancement in today's digital world and Canadian businesses are lagging far behind their U.S. counterparts in ICT investment.
"The effectiveness of ICT in today's business world is still questioned by management who are not convinced that investment in ICT is worth the reward," says Anthony Ariganello, President and CEO of CGA-Canada. "What these businesses need to understand is that inadequate investment in M&E results in less innovation and lower productivity, affecting Canada's competitiveness and overall economic well-being."
Canada as a nation is struggling to stay competitive, not only with the U.S. but against other OECD nations. Canada's global competitiveness ranked 3rd overall in 2001 and has been declining ever since, ranking 12th in 2011. ICT investment and development in Canada needs to drastically improve in order to boost productivity growth to levels similar to the United States. The U.S. business sector continues to outperform Canadian business and when measured as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), Canada's ICT investment represents only 67 per cent of U.S. investment.
"There needs to be progress made to close the investment gap in ICT between Canada and the U.S.," says Rock Lefebvre, Vice-President of Research & Standards and co-author of the report. "With over one million SMEs doing business in Canada, it would be highly beneficial for Canadian businesses to embrace ICT investment. Companies that adopt ICT will have enduring advantages over their competitors."
Support in the form of tax simplification, additional refundable tax credits and direct government contributions for ICT equipment and services will benefit SMEs and advance Canada as a competitive force in the global arena, notes the report.
For more information on the report visit: www.cga.org/canada/research
Founded in 1908, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada serves 75,000 Certified General Accountants and students in Canada and more than 90 countries. Respected accounting and financial management professionals, CGAs work in industry, finance, government and public practice. CGA-Canada establishes the designation's certification requirements and professional standards, offers professional development, conducts research and advocacy, and represents CGAs nationally and internationally.
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