OTTAWA, March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) is pleased with the overall direction of the 2012 federal budget which exercises fiscal constraint yet makes strategic investments in areas which will lead to economic growth.
"The government should be congratulated for introducing a number of good measures to improve Canadian innovation and focus research and development resources," said Joy Thomas, MBA, FCMA, C.Dir., President and CEO of CMA Canada. "These are areas CMA Canada stressed in the pre-budget process."
In its pre-budget submission, CMA Canada identified measures to improve commercialization, investments in research and development and skills development to help drive greater productivity in Canada which would in turn sustain economic recovery and help the government achieve its goal of a balanced budget in 2016-2017.
"One of the keys to capitalizing on creativity of Canadians is transforming knowledge into products and services for the global marketplace," said Ms. Thomas. Among measures introduced by the government which CMA Canada sees helping achieve this are, doubling the size of the Industrial Research and Development Internship program and National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), and committing $400 million to a high-risk venture capital fund to be managed by the private sector.
CMA Canada has recommended a number of measures to improve the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED or "Shred") tax credit program and provide businesses a greater benefit.
"While changes to the SR&ED program make it more cost effective and improve administration for the government, CMA Canada would still like to see the credit made refundable to all claimants, have claimants use credits to offset other taxes such as EI premiums, and get faster access to credits," said Ms. Thomas. "We are pleased the government has agreed to look at the contingency fees charged by consultants for submitting SR&ED claims."
The 2012 budget addressed a number of measures to enhance commercialization, most notably, making the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence program permanent and also making the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program with increased funding.
CMA Canada hopes the government will build on these measures in coming budgets. CMA Canada recommendations include:
- Bringing in a program of repayable grants to help companies accelerate the commercialization of their inventions;
- Developing a national "creator-ownership" policy where professors and students own their creations, as is the case in some universities.
"This budget has introduced a number of programs which integrate high-quality researchers into the business world and access inventions originating there," said Ms. Thomas. "But much more needs to be done to commercialize the research coming out of universities."
CMA Canada notes that the government has introduced a number of measures to ease labour shortages in high-demand sectors, improve youth skills training and connect skilled older workers with available jobs. However CMA Canada continues to recommend that the government implement more basic skills and literacy programs for adults so they can participate in a knowledge economy.
"Now that the government is gradually increasing the retirement age to 67 from 65, it is imperative that older workers have access to skills and training required for skilled, well-paying jobs throughout all their working years," said Ms. Thomas.
About Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada)
With 50,000 members around the world, CMA Canada grants a professional designation in strategic management accounting® and is responsible for standards-setting, accreditation, and the continuing professional development of Certified Management Accountants (CMAs). CMAs provide an integrating perspective to business decision-making, applying a unique blend of expertise in accounting, management and strategy to identify new market opportunities, ensure corporate accountability, and help organizations maintain a long-term competitive advantage. To optimize the performance of global enterprises and build strategic management accounting skills, CMA Canada offers innovative executive development programs, advanced online courses, and internationally recognized knowledge management publications. For more information, visit www.cma-canada.org.
SOURCE Certified Management Accountants of Canada