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COVID-19: What Canadian business leaders should know

Here’s how to shore up your company’s response to COVID-19

COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the global response continues to evolve, companies across all industries are facing several potentially significant challenges to which they need to respond rapidly.

We are working closely with organizations globally to help them in preparing and responding, sharing our experience having worked with companies, governments, regulators, NGOs and international organizations around the world to respond to some of the most high profile outbreaks (including Ebola, MERS, SARS and bird flu).

PwC's COVID-19 Navigator

Take the diagnostic to assess the potential impact to your business and gauge your readiness to respond.

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Our crisis response framework


  • Health and safety 

  • Workforce and mobility

  • Communication strategy

  • Crisis management and business continuity


  • Operations and supply chain

  • Contracts and third parties 

  • Opportunities to transform

  • Forecasting and liquidity


  • M&A

  • Cost transformation

  • New business models

  • Contract dispute preparation

Six key areas of focus


Beyond human welfare, there are other people challenges to tackle, including how to support remote working at scale.

  • Attend to immediate global mobility concerns, such as reviewing travel rules, HR policies, first-aid plans
  • Assess remote working strategy, including asking employees to temporarily stop work, work remotely or relocate 
  • Address strains on a firm’s existing information technology and communications infrastructure in order to support remote working during the crisis

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Crisis management and response

Existing business continuity plans aren't capable of handling the fast-moving and unknown variables of an outbreak like COVID-19.

  • Develop incident management and scenario plans that are specific to this crisis
  • Focus on factually and effectively communicating to stakeholders
  • Plan on how to meet government priorities in individual countries and minimize the risk of business disruptions

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Operations and supply chain

The ripple effects of the COVID-19 outbreak are difficult to model and assess, but businesses can begin to mitigate supply chain distributions. 

  • Identify alternative supply chain scenarios — especially as new cases of the virus emerge in different territories
  • Activate pre-approved parts or raw-material substitutions
  • Adapt allocations to customers and pricing strategies

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Financial reporting

Financial markets often watch how companies plan for and respond to events like the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Consider disclosures related to direct effects on the results of operations, as well as second- and third-order effects
  • Think about disclosures related to risks and uncertainties about the impact of COVID-19 on future periods
  • Assess disclosures on the current and future impact on liquidity and capital resources

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Tax, trade and regulatory

During these uncertain times, it’s critical for your tax function to consider the broader economic, political and societal factors in order to make fully informed decisions that comply with tax and regulatory systems and will help drive your operations forward.

  • Effectively manage cash flow, secure available refunds and consider government incentives 
  • Address immigration challenges for all of your people who are moving in and out of affected areas
  • Assess the resources your company needs to meet your ongoing indirect and direct tax compliance requirements
  • Consider actions to stabilize supply chains while bracing for an unpredictable revenue and profitability mix in key markets


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Financial planning and analysis

As the crisis deepens, companies need accurate business intelligence to forecast scenarios and cash flows and make decisions in a rapidly shifting environment.

  • Ensure you have robust forecasting assumptions to confidently determine the impacts on your business, such as changes in demand or a lockdown
  • Assess your forecasting and scenario planning capabilities, including whether your tools offer enough granularity to meet the needs of different stakeholders
  • Use data analytics and other data sources to enhance forecast assumptions

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Implications for your organization?

Our PwC Crisis and Resilience teams across the network are experienced in working with companies, governments, regulators, NGOs and international organizations around the world, helping them to prepare for and respond to some of the most high profile pandemics, including Ebola, MERS, SARS, H1N1 (swine flu) and H5N1 (bird flu). Key areas that we provide support include:  

  • Developing and assessing crisis and response plans

  • Designing and implementing timely and targeted communications 

  • Managing, collecting and identifying patient treatment data

Get in touch if you would like to discuss the implications for your organization. 

Reboot Canada 

Returning to the workplace with resilience 

The question of when and how to gradually bring employees back to the workplace represents one of the most critical challenges organizations will need to solve. It’s not just about bringing employees back into the physical space, but finding opportunities to adjust business models and workforce structure to thrive in the new era of business.

Learn more

COVID-19 Webcasts

COVID-19 related insights


Contact us

Domenic Marino

Domenic Marino

National Deals Leader, Partner, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 941 8265

Matthew Wetmore

Matthew Wetmore

National Managing Partner Industry & Regions, Strategy&, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 403 509 7483

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