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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Budgeting and Auditing

Processes to support information technology effectiveness reviews

This blog post reminds organizations that they should take the time to conduct information technology effectiveness reviews, to evaluate and improve the IT department’s role in achieving the organization’s goals.

 

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Federal Court of Appeal denies CRA routine access to tax accrual working papers

On March 30, 2017, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) released its decision in BP Canada Energy Company v. MNR (2017 FCA 61), dealing with whether the Minister of National Revenue (the Minister) could compel the taxpayer to disclose the uncertain tax positions reflected in its tax accrual working papers (TAWPs).

 

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Positioning risk management to succeed

Jim DeLoach of Protiviti is an old friend. We enjoy discussing risk management over a meal, finding that we agree on far more than we disagree. Where we do disagree, it may be more by way of expressing ourselves, or due to our different positions and perspectives. His work always, in my experience, merits our careful attention and reflection. Jim recently wrote Positioning Independent Risk Management to Succeed: 6 Ways to Support the CRO.

 

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Internal audit and ERM accused of failing to hit the mark

The consulting firm CEB (now part of Gartner) published a piece in 2014, Executive Guidance: Reducing Risk Management’s Organizational Drag. It has been used recently to support an argument by a critic that both internal audit and ERM are failing.

 

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“All or substantially all” – A look at CRA’s political activities test

Given that the Minister of National Revenue is considering the results of the recent Consultation Panel on the Political Activity of Charities which provided suggestions on the political activities test it may be worthwhile to look at a specific aspect of the test which relates it back to the related business rules (and social enterprise). […]

 

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What do audit committees think about risk and audit?

I am encouraged by the latest KPMG report, their 2017 Global Audit Committee Pulse Survey. I am encouraged because KPMG appears to be asking the right questions and getting intelligent answers.

 

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The future of risk management

The Institute of Risk Management has a great feature where they have asked people around the world, including a number of luminaries, about the future of risk management.

 

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Upcoming corporate income tax changes to curb income sprinkling issues

On July 18, 2017, the federal Department of Finance released legislative proposals and a consultation paper dealing with tax planning affecting private corporations. The goal is to close loopholes that allow wealthy Canadians to avoid higher tax rates, largely by targeting people who incorporate themselves and then draw income from their businesses while paying lower corporate taxes. These proposals, if enacted, will potentially affect most Canadian business owners who carry on their businesses through private corporations, significantly increase the complexity of the tax rules applicable to private corporations and reverse many long-standing tax policies that have encouraged business growth.

 

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Trusted advisors and world-class internal auditors

I was recently privileged to receive a signed copy of Richard Chambers’ latest book, Trusted Advisors: Key Attributes of Outstanding Internal Auditors. Richard is the President and CEO of The Institute of Internal Auditors, a veteran of internal audit at the highest level, a friend, and an individual with whom I love to debate the practices of internal auditing and risk management. (I hope I am influencing his views on the imminent update of the COSO ERM Framework.)

 

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Deloitte on internal audit and the path forward

Nine areas of focus have come out of the results of Deloitte’s latest survey of chief audit executives (CAEs) with recommendations for action. The survey, which has been widely reported, indicated that in the opinion of the responding CAEs only 28% of them “believe their functions have strong impact and influence in their organizations, while 16 percent felt that Internal Audit has little to no impact and influence”.

 

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Ontario’s proposed changes to employment and labour laws could still impact franchising

The Ontario government has responded with surprising speed to the Final Report from the Changing Workplaces Review (the Final Report) by introducing Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 on June 1, only eight days after the release of the Final Report on May 23, 2017. Bill 148 is intended to implement certain recommendations made in the Final Report. In a positive development for franchisors and franchisees, Bill 148 does not include measures to adopt the more drastic recommendations in the Final Report that were specifically directed at franchise systems.

 

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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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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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Government legal and fiscal measures designed to keep businesses in Quebec

On February 21, 2017, the Quebec government announced a plan to strengthen the Quebec economy as an executive-driven economy. The plan includes the enhancement of existing measures and the development of a number of new fiscal and legal measures designed to keep businesses in Quebec and facilitate the transfer of family businesses, therefore limiting the risk of their sale to foreign interests. The key measures include:

 

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Trump at work, week one

The first week of Trump’s administration has revealed a highly activist White House, hewing with surprising fidelity to campaign promises. The pace of change is materially faster than anticipated and the implications may be felt sooner rather than later.

 

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