Viability of Canadian companies threatened by rising Canadian dollar, say CA senior executives in CICA/RBC Business Monitor (Q3 2007)

    TORONTO, Sept. 25 /CNW/ - A high Canadian dollar threatens the viability
of companies in Canada, according to 41 per cent of Chartered Accountants
working in senior executive positions across Canada, who responded in the
CICA/RBC Business Monitor (Q3 2007) survey. The quarterly report is based on a
survey conducted by The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA),
and draws upon business insights of CAs in leadership positions in privately
and publicly held companies across Canada.
    "Our CAs running companies in Canada are telling us that they are
definitely feeling the pressure of a rising dollar on their businesses," said
Kevin Dancey, FCA, CICA president and CEO. "The federal government can
alleviate this stress by reducing corporate taxes to foster continued growth
of Canadian businesses and help ensure our capital markets remain strong."
    When asked in the Q3 survey what businesses would do if their corporate
taxes were cut by even ten per cent, half (50 per cent) of respondents cited
capital assets and R&D as areas where they would invest the majority of the
tax savings.
    "This bodes well for Canada's increasing competitiveness and overall
economic performance," stated Tracy Stevenson, vice-president of Business
Financial Services at RBC. "It is also interesting to note that only a small
percentage of those surveyed would use the tax savings to repay corporate debt
- which likely means that companies are comfortable with their current debt
    Added Dancey, "Ultimately, a corporate tax reduction would put money back
into the pockets of all Canadians. Businesses pass on taxes to customers
through higher prices, to suppliers and labour through lower costs and wages
and to those who supply capital through lower returns."
    On the whole, Chartered Accountants in senior executive positions have
indicated they are generally positive regarding economic prospects over the
next year. When asked about the top challenges facing their businesses,
respondents cited market competition (42 per cent); customer demand (35 per
cent); and availability of other professional and technical skills (31 per
cent) as their main concerns.
    The CICA/RBC Business Monitor (Q3 2007) is based on interviews conducted
by email and completed by 226 CAs of 2,072 identified by the CICA as CAs
holding senior positions (CFOs, CEOs and COOs) in publicly or privately held
companies in Canada. The response rate is 11 per cent. The margin of error
associated with this type of study is +/- 6.5 per cent, with a confidence
level of 95 per cent.

    The CICA/RBC Business Monitor (Q3 2007) is part of an international
initiative. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in
the United States and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and
Wales (ICAEW) in the United Kingdom also undertake quarterly studies that tap
the insights of members in senior positions to provide a barometer of economic
activity in their nations and as a basis for future comparative analysis
across countries. The CICA/RBC Business Monitor (Q3 2007) is available online

    The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), together with the
provincial, territorial and Bermuda Institutes/Ordre of Chartered Accountants,
represents a membership of approximately 72,000 CAs and 10,000 students in
Canada and Bermuda. The CICA conducts research into current business issues
and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for
business, not-for-profit organizations and government. It issues guidance on
control and governance, publishes professional literature, develops continuing
education programs and represents the CA profession nationally and
internationally. CICA is a founding member of the International Federation of
Accountants (IFAC) and the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA).

    RBC delivers a wide range of financial services through a variety of
channels to individuals, small and medium-sized businesses and commercial
clients, including deposit accounts, investments and mutual funds, credit and
debit cards, business and personal loans, and residential and commercial
mortgages. It is the personal and commercial banking division of Royal Bank of
Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE).

    Note: Interviews can be arranged with a number of CAs across the country
who responded to the survey, by calling or e-mailing interview requests to the
CICA media contact listed below.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Mimi Tsui, CICA, (416)
204-3435; Judi Levita, RBC, (416) 974-8810

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