publication date: Oct 24, 2012
author/source: Janet Gadeski
Better training for its client service agents tops the list
of improvements that the Charities
of Canada Revenue Agency
has implemented in response to feedback received during a national consultation
initiative in 2008.
A review of its progress report here
turns up some surprising conclusions about what had been lacking. When an
agency notes that its agents have developed and adopted a client service
manual, that they have all been trained to give consistent answers to the most
common questions, and that it has designated some agents to answer complex
questions and give their direct contact information so that clients can
continue to reach them - all that suggests that such measures may not have been
fully addressed in the past.
Filling such gaps is a major project with huge benefit not
just to charities, but also for Charities Directorate agents, who presumably want
to satisfy their callers.
Other measures reflect greater understanding of the working
conditions for small and rural charities. If a charity's authorized
representative does not respond to a compliance letter, for example, the
directorate now sends a copy to the president. The annual reporting paperwork
has been simplified for charities with revenue under $100,000, A long list
of new online resources addresses common reporting mistakes, presents
acceptable formats for financial statements and tax receipts, and helps
volunteer officers understand their responsibilities.
The Directorate has also organized webinars on compliance
topics across Canada and placed them in an online archive for continued access.