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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Finance and Accounting

Plan administrators cannot “undo” negligent representation

It is well established from the case law that a pension plan administrator may be susceptible to legal claims where inaccurate or unclear information has been communicated to plan beneficiaries.

 

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The current state of risk oversight: Useful or useless?

All the surveys, including this one, report that executives do not believe risk management practices at their organization are making a significant contribution to the development and execution of their strategies.

 

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The risk of material errors in the quarterly financial statements

Audit Analytics has released some interesting statistics on financial restatements and SOX. According to them, in 2015 about 5.3% of companies assessed their internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) as ineffective. This is down from 5.8% in 2014 but otherwise the highest level since 2008. This is the key section of their report.

 

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Ontario’s first Cap and Trade Auction results

cap trade auction

Ontario held its first Cap and Trade Program Auction of Greenhouse Gas Allowances on March 22, 2017. The auction drew 47 qualified bidders. Of the total number, approximately half are members of the energy industry.

 

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When an acceptable level of risk is not acceptable

We are used to identifying a risk, analyzing the potential consequences and their likelihood, and then establishing a ‘risk level’. We evaluate whether the level of risk is acceptable or not, based on risk appetite, risk criteria, or the like. But is that sufficient?

 

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The sharing economy expands the tax base

The sharing economy has disrupted the traditional taxi, hospitality and other sectors, and is expanding the tax base available to governments and revenue agencies worldwide.

 

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Lawful access: The Privacy Commissioner reiterates its position

Patricia Kosseim, Senior General Counsel and Director General, Legal Services, Policy, Research and Technology Analysis for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, was asked, at the request of Commission’s counsel, to provide an overview of the legislation for protecting privacy in Canada and to answer questions about lawful access issues from a federal perspective.

 

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How to mess up your risk management program

Does your risk management activity ‘check the box’, or does it help the organization succeed by making more intelligent and informed decisions?

 

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Document discovery and native documents: Document production must be “usable”

The recent Alberta case of Bard v. Canadian Natural Resources provides a road map for compelling the production of native electronic documents in “usable” form.

 

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The current state of risk management

But here is the key question. If the leaders of the organization are not persuaded that risk management is adding value by enabling success, and believe that there are better ways to invest scarce resources, why should we surprised that the risk management activity is under–funded?

 

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Protecting trade secrets using non-disclosure agreements

In Canada, the issue of whether an NDA may be an unenforceable restraint of trade has been explored in the employment law context, however, there has been very little discussion as to whether an NDA could be considered a restraint of trade in transactions between two or more businesses. There has also been little discussion in Canada as to the distinction between trade secrets and ordinary confidential information. As such, US case law may provide some guidance.

 

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The value of a risk register

A risk register makes you feel good. It makes you feel you have accomplished something, a list of risks that might cause harm to the organization. It makes the executive team and the board feel that they can check the box: “do you have a risk management program? Yes.” But, does that risk register help people formulate and then execute the right strategies for the organization to deliver optimal value?

 

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Missing comma means millions in overtime pay

The case involved an ambiguity in a Maine statute dealing with overtime pay. Under the statute, employees involved in certain activities were exempt from the overtime provisions, so they were not entitled to overtime pay. A group of drivers in Oakhurst argued that they were entitled to overtime pay.

 

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Risk in the fourth dimension

The word, a magic word with amazing power, is “why”. Let’s think of the power of this word when it comes to risk and risk management.

 

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Federal Budget 2017-18: Impact on businesses

federal budget 2017

On March 22, 2017, Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the Liberal Government’s Federal Budget 2017, Building a Strong Middle Class, which includes various measures affecting businesses. The federal budget 2017 is modest and is focused on skills training, innovation and how Canada will promote sustainable growth. The government is forecasting a deficit of $28.5-billion, […]

 

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