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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Budgeting and Auditing

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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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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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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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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The updated ISO risk management standard merits our attention

Neither the ISO nor the COSO updates will, in my opinion, move the understanding and practice of ‘risk management’ to where they need to be. The updates are small steps when leaps were required.

 

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One objective but multiple risks

Some organizations and consultants are wedded to the idea that the level of risk can be quantified and calculated as the magnitude of a potential effect (or consequence) multiplied by its likelihood.

 

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Are we doing enough about behavior?

I have written about culture as having many facets. Auditing culture is not just about ethics, or risk-taking. It’s about behavior and what drives it. Are we, as individuals (especially when we are in a position of authority, such as any member of internal audit) doing enough?

 

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Mitigate the risks associated with IT systems acquisition

Any organization which acquires IT systems must do so carefully. Among other reasons, systems may be costly, they may be critical to business operations, and they may create significant risks (for example a risk of security breaches). The following suggestions will help to mitigate some of the risks associated with IT systems acquisition:

 

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Is it about managing risk?

Managing risk absent the context of your objectives leads you to manage what may be irrelevant and miss what may be crucial.

 

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Bill 141 – Proposed amendments to the Act respecting the Autorité des marchés financiers with regard to whistleblowing

Following the example of the Ontario Securities Commission, the Authority implemented a whistleblower program in June 2016. Contrary to Ontario, Quebec’s program does not give financial awards to whistleblowers, but it does guarantee a framework that ensures confidentiality and protects whistleblowers against reprisals. However, no legislative amendment guaranteeing these protections has been introduced until now.

 

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Should you adopt the updated COSO ERM Framework? My assessment

It has been 13 years since the original COSO ERM Framework and eight years since ISO 31000:2009 was published. The updated COSO ERM Framework was an opportunity for COSO to “leap forward”. But did it?

 

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How well did COSO address comments on the ERM draft?

My impression is that COSO only tinkered with the draft. But, have they done enough to move practices forward, in the right direction? Will this update change the percentage of executives answering the piercing question by Deloitte, “Does risk management support, at a high level, the ability to develop and execute business strategies”, up from 13% close to 80%?

 

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Small business corporate tax rate reduction 2018

The government news release announcing the reduction in the small business corporate income tax rate did not address whether there would be corresponding changes to the dividend gross-up or non-eligible dividend tax credit rate.

 

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How good is your chief risk officer?

A chief risk officer requires certain characteristics to succeed at being the leader of risk management in any organization. This article provides a list of critical attributes for such a leader.

 

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A conversation about risk with a CEO

Leaving the word “risk” out of a risk discussion with an executive can prove to be a positive way forward when asking what can go right for a project rather than what might go wrong.

 

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