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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Author Archive - Adam Gorley

Adam Gorley, B.A. (Phil.), is a researcher, content provider and editor. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks and Internal Control blogs, HRinfodesk and other First Reference publications. His areas of focus include broad human resources issues, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and government policies, information technology and labour market trends. Read more

Federal non-profit resources

With the passing of the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (and all that entails), law firm Drache Aptowitzer has introduced a website dedicated to the Act.

 

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Relief for far-flung and busy non-profit boards

Under the recently enacted Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, directors and board members can pass resolutions without holding actual meetings. Many organizations will likely find this measure convenient, particularly where members are often unavailable for meetings due to time and distance.

 

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Year-end round-up

Like most of you, I’m sure, I was extra busy before Christmas last year, and to top it all off, I got sick and had to leave some things unfinished. So I couldn’t bring you this brief round-up of things that happened in the last three months of 2011, much of which has to do with technology and how employers will use it to interact with employees and customers. But it’s a new year and I’ve recovered from my illness and my holidays, so without further ado…

 

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Managing fraud risk

Reducing the risk of fraud from both external and internal sources is something that all businesses have to consider at some time, or continually, depending on the owner’s approach and taste for living on the edge. But seriously, fraud is a serious problem that can damage or even destroy a business, particularly small and medium ones, which can’t afford the potential losses.

 

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IT compliance dictionary – yes!

Maybe this will help directors get up to speed on IT. If you want to know the meanings of tech terms like WEP, WPA, kernel,malware, trojan, sniffing, MIME, deployment strategy, server,implementation and just about any other IT term you can think of, then check it out.

 

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Is it time for directors to take responsibility for IT governance and strategy?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) thinks so. It has developed ISO 38500 to complement COBIT and ITIL, comparing the standards to the roof, walls and foundation of a house…

 

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Laws not enough to stop fraud

A recent US survey finds that “Business losses due to fraud increased 20% in the last 12 months, from $1.4 million to $1.7 million per billion dollars of sales. … 88% of the respondents reported being victims of corporate fraud over the past 12 months.” Does this worry you?

 

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Sustainable business frameworks

Recently, I wrote about the concept of shared value, a business strategy under which organizations consider the needs of their communities alongside those of their shareholders, in order to improve conditions for business (and communities where they operate) and maximize profit. What a crazy idea, right? Healthier communities mean more profitable businesses? So crazy it just might work.

 

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Can customers be encouraged to read privacy policies?

When was the last time you read a privacy policy? I use dozens of online services—email, social networking, data storage, banking, photos, shopping, etc.—and I’ve only skimmed a couple. What does this mean for the companies that offer these services? Can they reasonably say that they have informed their users of the content of their policies, if most users simply click “Okay” without bothering to read the things?

 

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IFRS transitioners take note!

The Ontario Securities Commission has reviewed many Ontario issuers’ International Financial Reporting Standards financial reports and found them lacking in key respects. Based on first quarter 2011 IFRS filings, the OSC found three main deficiencies…

 

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Third time the charm for copyright reform?

The last copyright amendments in Canada happened in 1997, long, long before copyright piracy entered the mainstream. Now, the Conservative government will make its third attempt to update the law. Will this be their lucky time? The current bill is essentially the same as the previous effort, Bill C-32, which was thwarted after its second reading when the government fell earlier this year on a non-confidence motion. The newly elected government promised to reintroduce the amendments and pass them in short order, and here we are.

 

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First Reference author and collaborator Jeffrey Sherman named Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants

Jeffrey D. Sherman is the lead author of all four volumes of First Reference’s Internal Controls Library: Finance and Accounting PolicyPro (including Operations and Marketing PolicyPro), Information Technology PolicyPro and Not-for-Profit PolicyPro. While we knew our internal control publications were in good hands before, we don’t mind saying we’re especially proud to have Jeffrey’s name on them now.

 

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Personal information online: new tools, old responsibilities

Sometimes, technology creates new ways to exploit information faster than the law and business can keep up. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is trying to make sure that doesn’t happen in the case of behavioural advertising. Last year, the Privacy Commissioner conducted consultations on the new ways that organizations are collecting and using customers’ personal information, and prepared its Report on the 2010 Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Consultations on Online Tracking, Profiling and Targeting, and Cloud Computing.

 

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New rules arriving soon for non-profits in federal jurisdiction, Ontario

You not-for-profit organizations and charities out there probably remember that, in the not-too-distant past, the federal and Ontario governments enacted new laws governing the activities of NFPs. Well, some expect these laws to come into force within the next six months. That’s sooner than you probably think.

 

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And now an update on HST transitions!

If you’ve been following the story of Quebec’s efforts to harmonize its sales tax (the QST) with the federal Goods and Services Tax, you probably know that it took a bit longer than expected, besides the 19 previous years of semi-harmonization during which nothing really happened. The federal government and the province originally set a deadline of September 15 to reach a deal, but they subsequently extended the period, and as of Friday, the deed is done—kind of.

 

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