2019 Journey to Parliament Hill
Unique opportunity, unforgettable experience
As tax professionals, the Federal Budget is a milestone we plan, prepare and strategize for months in advance. As we get ready for the budget release, we have one mission in mind: understand the impact to our middle market clients and then deliver the power of being understood to help them succeed. RSM is one of the few firms in the industry that enables tax professionals at the manager level – and not only partners – to attend one of the single most important tax events of the year. As senior tax managers, we were given the opportunity this year to accompany our National Tax Leader Maria Severino and Partner Stephen Rupnarain on the journey to Parliament Hill.
On the day the Federal Budget is released, tax leaders from across the country are in what is commonly known as ‘Lock Up’, where they receive the budget directly from the Finance Minister’s office. The energy you feel in Parliament during this time is incomparable. As senior managers, we are hard-pressed to think of anyone else among our peers who is so close to the action at this stage in their career.
Coordination, collaboration, and teamwork is key
Being behind the scenes, we experienced first-hand the teamwork, collaboration and professionalism that our RSM leaders exemplify. Once the budget was tabled, our team worked around the clock to decipher, analyze and deliver relevant information to our clients. This required significant collaboration between our team in Ottawa, who examined the budget, and the team in Toronto, who supported us in analyzing and delivering the communications to our clients. Both teams worked together to produce and distribute the key tax changes within 24 hours of the budget release.
What is admirable is how the leadership at RSM, including partners and other senior staff, set an example with their professionalism and dedication to delivering the information to our clients as efficiently and effectively as possible. Their support empowered us to produce a plethora of communication materials to help our clients, such as articles and videos, despite the tight deadlines.
Tailored, targeted communications for the middle market
At RSM, we do not take a general approach to the budget, or any other tax event for that matter; all communications that we produce are tailored with a middle market industry focus. In Ottawa, we learned the importance of always asking ourselves how we can deliver this information quickly, clearly, and targeted to our clients. Through this experience, we learned how to put ourselves in our clients' shoes and look at the budget through their lens.
Since this year’s budget prioritized compliance, scrutiny and a reinforced audit process, we made sure our clients were aware of any changes that would affect them. Despite the ambiguity around much of the budget, we worked together with our tax leaders to understand how the budget impacts the current organizational structure and how we can help mitigate any negative tax consequences. By being honest about any gaps and ambiguities in the budget, we reaffirmed our commitment to supporting our clients’ success even through uncertainty.
Leveraging insights, providing value
Our journey did not end in Ottawa. When we returned from our trip, we continued to leverage the insights from Parliament Hill in our discussions with our clients, providing value where and when we could. We each produced in-depth guides targeted to the industries we serve, with a clear middle market focus, helping us enhance our profiles and positioning us as thought leaders – again, an opportunity not frequently offered to tax managers elsewhere. Foremost, through this unique experience, we enhanced our skillsets not only as tax professionals, but also as first-choice advisors committed to helping the middle market.