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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Environmental Issues

Search warrants: what should you do?

Being subject to a search warrant can be unexpected, shocking and upsetting. If served with a search warrant in connection with a government or regulatory investigation, it is essential to contact legal counsel immediately.


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Slaw: The state of whistleblowing in Canada

Whistleblowing occurs when employees reveal corporate wrongdoing, usually in their organization, to law enforcement. Unfortunately, it is common for whistleblowers to experience demotion, dismissal and otherwise negative treatment from their employers after they disclose the malfeasance or corruption. In order to deal with this serious issue, some companies have created codes of ethics to ensure that their directors, officers and employees are aware of and adhere to standards of conduct that ensure the company performs and is represented in an honest and responsible manner.


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Corporate social responsibility: Following through on sustainable business initiatives

Sustainability has become a buzzword since sustainability as a practice is a relatively new initiative. From corporate social responsibility, to ‘green’ workplaces, to unethical ‘greenwashing’, it seems as though everyone is trying to get a piece of the eco-friendly pie. In the business world, sustainability is referred to as the ‘triple bottom line’, as organizations consider the environment an important stakeholder.


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Take testing activities up a level

In a 2009 blog post, Dr. James Whittaker suggested all managers out there need to ask themselves what they’ve done lately to make their testers (e.g., software engineers, system analysts and anyone else who may be involved in testing activities) more creative.


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Your service-oriented architecture expert opinion

I recently came across two different definitions of service-oriented architecture and I asked Grady Booch if he would share his expert opinion (i.e., do these two definitions align, or is one correct or more correct)?


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Understanding enterprise architecture and related risks

Enterprise architecture is an important topic to organizations from executives, to IT/business resources, to customers, at all levels and around the globe. This blog post features input from three EA experts, from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.


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Enhancing quality and correcting the threat of intimidation in reporting obligations

To start the year with a challenge, perhaps consider this as one of your organization’s new year’s resolutions, addressing or correcting the threat of intimidation within reporting obligations inside your organization. What am I talking about? To illustrate,


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Season’s greetings and holiday break

The team at First Reference Inc. and Inside Internal Controls blog wishes everyone a very Happy Holiday Season and all the best for the New Year!


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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Renegotiating value and values – do we have a choice?

Last month I read about the death of corporate social responsibility. Now, I’ve come across the concept of “shared value”, which seems like a more thorough expression of the promise of CSR.


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Environmental responsibility: Is extended product responsibility inevitable?

On Earth Day, Ontario’s Environment Minister delivered a speech in which he stated his government’s intention to shift the entire cost of the provincial household Blue Box recycling program onto the backs of the companies that produce the recyclables (they currently pay 50 percent).


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OSC issues notice re disclosure of corporate governance and environmental matters

The Ontario Securities Commission has announced that it will undertake a review of corporate governance practices and environmental disclosure requirements in 2010, as part of a broader corporate sustainability reporting initiative.

What’s the significance of this announcement?


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Who’s looking at your garbage, and why should you care?

You know what happens when you dump your garbage in the bin, right? The garbage collectors pick it up and take it away, and you don’t worry about it any more. But should you worry about it? A 2009 Supreme Court of Canada decision suggests you might want to.


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Does your company have environmental policies?

Although sceptics might characterize environmental policies as “greenwashing”, there’s no question that these policies have moved into the mainstream. Companies are not making this move for altruistic reasons; the fact is that responsible environmental policies can make a company more competitive—more attractive to customers and other stakeholders, less expensive to operate, and more compliant with […]


Economy vs. the environment

When discussing the environment; it´s often presented as the flip side of the economy, and people are presented with a black and white choice of which they´d rather have – a healthier planet or more jobs.



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