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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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2017

Top 10 most-read Inside Internal Controls posts for 2017 and Season’s greetings

We are signing off with a list of the top 10 most-read Inside Internal Controls posts for 2017. This year on the Inside Internal Controls blog we’ve been covering some of the hot topics in internal controls, governance, information technology, not-for-profit, and business management among others. The top 10 most-read Inside Internal Controls posts for 2017 include:

 

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Not so happy New Year: Ontario rewards points legislation coming into force January 1, 2018

Ever since Ontario’s legislature passed the Protecting Rewards Points Act (Consumer Protection Amendment), 2016 (Act) prohibiting the expiration of rewards points in consumer loyalty programs, the retail industry has been waiting for the publication of the associated regulation that would provide more detail about the prohibition, along with some exceptions to the prohibition. The wait is now over, as the Ontario government recently published Ontario Regulation 388/17 (the Regulation), which will come into force on January 1, 2018.

 

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Alberta Court of Appeal reaffirms importance of considering factual matrix in contractual interpretation

The rules of contractual interpretation have evolved significantly in the last several years in Canada. At one time, the circumstances surrounding the preparation of a contract were rarely considered by the courts; the courts preferred to look within the “four walls” of the contract to interpret ambiguous phrases or to resolve uncertainties. More recently, however, the courts have begun to consider all of the circumstances involved in the drafting of the contract in order to give meaning to it and to ensure that the intention of the parties is carried out.

 

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Can you manage technology risk in today’s environment?

This is a new world and we need to re-examine traditional techniques for addressing technology risk. Before assessing and testing controls, challenge management on whether they believe effective security is in place and why. An internal audit team can help with this.

 

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Proposed foreign merger rollovers rules: Welcome news to foreign companies that cannot rely on existing tax treaty rollover provisions

On October 27, 2017, under Bill C-63, the Department of Finance released proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act (Canada) (“ITA”) introducing a new elective rule allowing non-residents tax-deferred rollover treatment on dispositions of certain taxable Canadian property (“TCP”) in a foreign merger.

 

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Name is psychological safety but my friends call me culture

psychological safety

Psychological safety refers to the climate in which people operate, think and speak. A psychologically safe climate is one in which people feel comfortable being themselves and expressing themselves without the fear of retribution. This concept is directly applicable to the group dynamics of teams trying to spitball the next big thing; however, when we expand this view to our largest corporate group, the employee base, we start to see a lot of overlap with a true speak-up culture.

 

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Federal government introduces new amendments to the Canada Labour Code to address workplace violence and harassment

The Federal Government has recently introduced Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, which provides for significant changes in how federally-regulated workplaces must address workplace violence and harassment. Bill C-65 follows a year-long public consultation commissioned by the Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour that concluded that harassment and violence in workplaces is underreported and not dealt with effectively when reported.

 

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Canadian taxation of cryptocurrency … so far

Cryptocurrency is digital “money” that utilizes encryption techniques to regulate the issuance of units and verify their transfer. Cryptocurrency operates without the participation of a central bank or other government agency.

 

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Ontario government revamps Construction Lien Act: What you need to know about prompt payment, mandatory adjudication, and more

On May 31, 2017, the Ontario government introduced Bill 142 [PDF] (the Bill) that, if passed, would significantly amend the Construction Lien Act to create a prompt payment regime, require the mandatory adjudication of certain construction disputes, and implement various additional amendments to modernize the Act.

 

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Are we doing enough about behavior?

I have written about culture as having many facets. Auditing culture is not just about ethics, or risk-taking. It’s about behavior and what drives it. Are we, as individuals (especially when we are in a position of authority, such as any member of internal audit) doing enough?

 

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CETA gets royal assent – what brand owners and users need to know

On May 16, 2017, Bill C-30, Canada’s legislation to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, received royal assent.

 

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TPP-11 reach agreement on “core elements” of a deal

Since the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership within three days of President Trump’s inauguration, which many thought would result in a fatal blow to the deal, negotiators from the remaining TPP-11 have been quietly meeting to revive the agreement.

 

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Defamation and reference checks

Reference checks can put former employers in an awkward position. Employers want to tell the truth but may be concerned about the potential legal consequences of providing a bad reference. However, a recent case out of Ontario suggests that employers should not be afraid to tell the truth when asked to provide a reference for a former employee.

 

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It’s giving season: Tax credits for charitable donations vs. political contributions

With the holiday season upon us, many Canadians are turning their minds to both good-will and the end of the tax year. The next time you reach for your wallet to make a donation or contribution, think back on this summary of the differences between the two and reflect on what the tax implications will be.

 

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Counting down to December 31, 2017 – Don’t forget about your AODA compliance report

A quick reminder that pursuant to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (Ontario), Ontario private sector businesses with twenty or more employees are required to file an AODA compliance report every three years. The next deadline is fast approaching – December 31, 2017.

 

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