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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Accounting Systems and Controls

FCAC releases report on best practices in financial consumer protection

The Report on Best Practices in Financial Consumer Protection published by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada outlines several best practices for financial consumer protection regimes.

 

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What is an internal control, really?

What is a control, at an abstract level: what is it supposed to achieve, and how is it supposed to operate within an organization?

 

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So what if the risk is high?

Most organizations cannot afford to reduce every single risk to what some practitioners would deem acceptable. Providing actionable information about all the things that might happen, not by using terms like High, Medium, or Low, but in specific business terms will help evaluate which risks to take.

 

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New COSO ERM Guidance for ESG

It is essential to provide leaders with actionable information. Simply rating a risk as high or valuing it at $250,000 is meaningless. Leaders need to be able to make decisions between addressing one risk vs another, and going forward with a project given all the uncertainties related to its success. For that they need clear, detailed information, not a simple risk rating.

 

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Department of Finance Canada issues consultation paper on review of the Canadian Payments Act

A recent Consultation Paper sought comments on whether the 2015 Amendments had been successful in better enabling Payments Canada to meet its mandate to promote the efficiency, safety, and soundness of its systems while taking into account the interests of users.

 

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30 months in jail for facilitating false donation tax scheme

While donors to fraudulent donation schemes may not be morally innocent, their culpability does not reach the level of the promoters of these schemes. It is refreshing to see the CRA prosecuting those responsible, rather than merely reassessing and penalizing taxpayers.

 

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European commission releases proposal to regulate crowdfunding

Crowdfunding Service Providers (CSPs) can provide businesses and individuals with a digital platform to reach out to potential investors for funding. Presently, some EU countries have their own national legislation on crowdfunding while others require CSPs to be licensed and operate under EU frameworks.

 

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Collective agreement, not software, drives employee entitlements

Organizations must carefully and proactively determine user requirements and document them with great specificity when designing or evaluating software options to manage payroll and benefits within their companies.

 

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Improve internal controls over fixed assets (Part 2)

A failure to satisfy proper cut-off, completeness, existence, accuracy and ownership are common problems arising from weak or non-existent fixed asset policies. The overarching approach to satisfying these issues is to design and implement internal controls in proper policies and procedures.

 

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Canadian Securities Administrators provide update on projects aimed at reducing regulatory burden on issuers in the areas of prospectus filings and continuous disclosure

The Staff Notice 51-353 – Update on CSA Consultation Paper 51-404 Considerations for Reducing Regulatory Burden for Non-Investment Fund Reporting Issuers reports on a consultation paper that the CSA issued last year and summarizes comments received in response to the consultation paper, The Staff Notice identifies six options for initial policy projects to be undertaken by the CSA in the near term.

 

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Online advisors: Stand-alone investment managers or tools for portfolio managers?

Online advisors are digital wealth managers. They use information that an investor provides, usually through an online questionnaire, in order to create an investment recommendation.

 

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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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Canada’s oldest stock exchange enters cryptocurrency market

TMX Group Ltd., which owns the 166 year-old Toronto Stock Exchange, announced on March 22, 2018 that it would launch a cryptocurrency platform and thereby enter the burgeoning market for virtual currencies.

 

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