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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Corporate Governance

How significant is the risk of fraud?

fraud

The best resource for understanding the level of fraud risk is the Association of Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) annual Report to the Nations, their global study of occupational fraud and abuse. Their 2018 Report is now available and, as always, shares some useful and important insights. The ACFE analyzed 2,690 cases from January 2016 to October 2017 from around the world (48% from the USA, the rest evenly split among other regions).

 

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Conference update: Virtual currency exchanges, beneficial ownership and other developments in Canadian anti-money laundering regulations

anti-money laundering

On February 7, 2018, the Canadian federal government had released a consultation paper for comments that has potentially far-reaching implications for compliance with Canadian anti-money laundering (AML) requirements. At the recently concluded 17th Annual Forum on Anti-Money Laundering & Financial Crime in Toronto, some interesting observations were made by various speakers (including representatives from certain Canadian regulators). A number of these observations touched on topics covered by the above-mentioned consultation paper. This article sets out some key highlights.

 

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Canadian government’s IP strategy seeks to boost innovation, increase IP literacy, and rein-in patent trolls

The intellectual property (IP) strategy, unveiled by the Government of Canada recently, aims to boost Canadian innovation and presence in the global technological market by enhancing IP awareness and savviness, introducing IP education and advice programs, offering strategic IP tools for growth, and implementing legislative amendments. The government plans to invest $83.5 million over five years to help Canadian businesses understand, protect and access IP.

 

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Jim Comey and the practitioner’s dilemma

It is often difficult to make the right decision when facing challenges in an organization. Maintaining integrity, standing your ground and doing what you believe to be right and part of your responsibilities can be difficult and can make you question the decisions you make.

 

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An ounce of preparation

There is no need to reinvent the wheel in this crisis management initiative. There are many resources online and common-sense articles, checklists and manuals about crisis management.

 

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Learning the basics on GDPR’s right to be forgotten

To manage the Europe Union’s new GDPR properly, ethics and compliance officers need to consider many parts within their organization, from IT capabilities, exception clauses, and customer service demands. And these parts must be managed and organized in such a way that they work together so that they do not fall apart.

 

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New GRC guidance from OCEG might be missing a crucial point

GRC is “the integrated collection of capabilities that enable an organization to reliably achieve objectives, address uncertainty and act with integrity”. A new Guide from OCEG, A Practical Guide About GRC Metrics and Measurement, says, a major part of GRC is about “break[ing] down silos between governance, strategy, performance management, risk management, compliance management, internal audit and other departments”.

 

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Ethics & compliance leaders could use a good dose of marketing 101

Just as a brand isn’t what the company says about itself, but what other people say about the company, employee behavior is the final expression of your E&C marketing program’s success.

 

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When liability waivers are upheld

This case illustrates that waivers can be a complete bar to the right to sue and that participants being provided a waiver have the option to opt out of the activity if they are not comfortable with solely bearing the risk associated with it.

 

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Reporting on risk to the board

Those charged with reporting on risk to the board and to the executive team should understand what they are trying to achieve, what information they need to be successful and how they can help.

 

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Talking sense about technology risk and cyber

You have to have sponsorship from the CEO and throughout the company to really understand and diagnose IT risks, data security risks and business risks, and then prioritize them.

 

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Drafting interest rate calculation provisions in corporate finance transactions

If a loan document does not comply with the provision for calculating a “nominal” annual rate of interest in order to comply with section 4 of the Interest Act, then the interest rate is capped at 5% per annum. Commercial practice and appellate jurisprudence had confirmed that such provisions complied with section 4. Section 4 states:

 

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Don’t forget to audit controls!

It’s best to have management detect issues and for audit to assess whether those detective controls are adequate.

 

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Improve internal controls over fixed assets (Part 1)

Many organizations face challenges with recording and physically safeguarding fixed assets. Organizations must also meet disclosure and other requirements when they prepare audited or other financial statements, corporate tax returns (applicable to for-profit organizations) and T3010 Registered Charity Information Returns (applicable to charitable organizations). Accounting processes and procedures must facilitate these activities.

 

An idea to help drive effective risk management

We want all decision-makers to consider all the potential consequences of their decision (in fact, all the potential consequences for each option on the table) before making an informed and intelligent judgment. What if the quality of decision-making was a significant factor in assessing performance? Thus affecting compensation and career progression. This idea could help drive effective risk management.

 

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