COVID-19: What Canadian business leaders should know

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

The COVID-19 outbreak has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization, causing huge impact on people's lives, families and communities.

As the international response continues to develop, we know that organizations 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 & Safety 

  • Workforce & Mobility

  • Communication Strategy

  • Crisis Management & Business Continuity


  • Operations & Supply Chain

  • Contracts & 3rd parties 

  • Opportunities to transform

  • Forecasting & 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 and Trade

Immediate concerns are the well-being of global employees and business continuity with customers.

  • Consider immigration challenges for all nationals who are moving in and out of areas directly affected by the outbreak
  • Determine whether there will be an impact on tax estimates across the board, or if issues are isolated to specific geographies
  • Review long-term global presence and structure in order to reduce exposure to COVID-19 types of risks and prevent them from interrupting the business

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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. 

COVID-19 related insights


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Contact us

Domenic Marino

Partner, National Forensics & Crisis Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 941 8265

Matthew Wetmore

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

Tel: +1 403 509 7483