Canada | Small business

Exporting: The answer to growing your business internationally

With a growing number of Canadian companies investing in expanding globally, it’s time for CPAs to sharpen their international business skills. Here’s where to start.

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Shipping container on a industrial crane among other containers at docksCompanies that export do better than those that don’t, not just in terms of revenue and profit margins but also from a productivity, research and development standpoint (Shutterstock/Dmitry Kalinovsky)

If you want your business to do better, start exporting. 

That’s the message behind the Export Development Canada (EDC)-Forum and International Trade Training (FITT)’s, Finding opportunities for growth in international trade, webinar hosted by CPA Canada on February 28, 2019.

But taking a company’s footprint from domestic to international markets is daunting and may feel out of scope. With insights from a panel of experts in trade, this webinar will counter those assumptions, giving CPAs a peek into the current export market and how they can help businesses reach beyond their own borders.

Here are four insights attendees will gain:

1) WHY CPAS MATTER

Professional accountants can play a significant role in the exporter ecosystem, so it’s important to be abreast of international trade trends, the global economy and Canada’s position within it. Being well informed helps CPAs better serve existing clients and attract future ones.

“Our world changes all the time, practices change all the time, rules and regulations change all the time,” says webinar panelist Scott Ferris, CITP, CEO of Saddle Up Management Company. “Making sure you are staying current with rules and regulations and ongoing professional development is fundamental.”

Dive deeper into how you can help an organization move forward in its export endeavours from the research, planning, execution and monitoring stages. At every stage of the export game, a CPA’s financial knowledge and expertise is of value. 

“[Exporting] becomes more complex,” says webinar panelist Peter Hall, vice-president and chief economist of EDC. “It becomes more international and we know for a fact that even before the contracts are signed, or the exporter gets active in the marketplace, they are really seriously looking for advice. So, one of their trusted advisers, of course, is the accounting community.” 

2) WHY EXPORTERS DO BETTER

According to Hall, companies that export do better than those that don’t, not just in terms of revenue and profit margins but also from a productivity, research and development standpoint. 

From a global economic lens, Hall will address realities including emerging markets, recessions, protectionism and pricing, offering insight into how a business can make an export market a success. He’ll also reveal what makes a successful exporter.

“A key point that needs to be understood by accountants and really the broader Canadian business community is that trade is going to be a key driver, exports are going to be a key driver of growth,” he says. “That growth is actually going to be diversifying in a way that requires a lot of scale going forward.”

3) HOW TO GET STARTED

Find out what type of exporter you can be, while learning strategies behind identifying the best market for your product or service. Gain insight into Canada’s trade relations—and pending trade deals—with the U.S., China and other emerging markets. Learn to assess the risks and challenges before taking the exporting plunge. 

“Being able to be globally aware and understanding the potential and impacts of the kind of situations that clients may face is a very strong position to make sure you are in,” says Ferris. 

4) WHAT RESOURCES TO REFER TO

There is a pool of resources available to businesses seeking to branch out beyond their borders. Uncover what government agencies and trade organizations to not-for-profits and business associations have to offer and the financial support options out there. Keep in mind the value of online resources and professional development opportunities. 

“[Businesses] are in a very advantageous period of time right now because in terms of exporting, they have great foundations on which to build,” says Ferris.  “They have a tremendous opportunity to be able to learn from the best practices of those who have gone before.”

EXPAND YOUR EXPORT KNOWLEDGE 

Sign up for the free webinar, Finding opportunities for growth in international trade, to understand the exporting process and how global economic trends will impact your business.

And remember, CPA Canada members receive a special rate for EDC-FITT training. The online courses and workshops are flexible and count towards your professional development targets.