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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Financial Compliance / Planning / Management

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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CRA’s Report on the Charities Program 2015-16

In January 2017, the CRA released its Report on the Charities Program 2015–2016, which provides interesting insights into Canada’s charitable sector. A common thread weaving through issues related to obtaining and maintaining charitable status is the need to create, maintain, and report/file information required by the Charities Directorate and the Income Tax Act.

 

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Views on the future of risk management

James Lam has an impressive resume: Chief Risk Officer for major financial institutions, author of a respected book on ERM, consultant, and board member. Recently, he wrote a white paper that is available through RIMS or Workiva, Next Frontier: Performance-Based Continuous ERM. I think it is fair to say that James and I agree on many points but disagree on others.

 

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Cannabis legislation and regulation

The Liberal Party of Canada made the legalization of marijuana a priority during the 2015 federal election campaign and now the Liberal government has taken a step toward enacting that promise. On June 30, 2016, the Government of Canada launched a Task Force to advise it on the design of a legislative and regulatory framework for legal access to cannabis. The prescribed framework was the Government’s commitment in the 2015 Speech From the Throne to legalize, regulate, and restrict access to cannabis.

 

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Anti-money laundering update: Politically exposed persons

On December 20, 2016, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada released new guidelines in respect of politically exposed persons and heads of international organizations. A separate guideline was released for each of financial entities, securities dealers, life insurance companies, agents and brokers and money services businesses. The Guidelines will be effective June 17, 2017.

 

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Tax voluntary disclosures for Canadian residents

As anticipated, the Canada Revenue Agency has been put on notice to restrict its Voluntary Disclosures Program.

 

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Substantively enacted corporate income tax rates

corporate income tax rates

Ernst and Young’s tables of substantively enacted corporate income tax rates have been updated to December 31, 2016. The tables are prepared on a monthly basis and you can subscribe to them on Knotia.ca. The determination of the substantively enacted date of a corporate income tax rate change follows the guideline provided in EIC-111 (generally […]

 

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A new front opens in the SOX battle

When potential material weaknesses are discovered during SOX or internal audit testing, my suggestion is to review the issue with the legal function. They can advise the CEO and CFO whether this should be disclosed as part of the Section 302 certification. This new front is clearly starting to open. Don’t let it pull you under.

 

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CASL and private right of action

Canada has the most onerous anti–spam/anti–malware law (CASL) in the world. In less than a year, July 1, 2017, it is going to become even worse. That’s when the private right of action comes into force.

 

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Cybersecurity best practices for connected cars

Some of the most significant concerns with connected vehicles are cybersecurity and privacy protection. These concerns were the main impetus behind the creation in the US of the Auto Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (ISAC) by a group of US automakers in July of 2014. The group allows its members to share information about threats and vulnerabilities, conduct analysis and develop industry solutions. The Auto ISAC has now released its “Automotive Cybersecurity Best Practices”.

 

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Closing your business for the holidays

The holidays are quickly approaching. However, leading to that point of unwinding can be stressful for many business owners, with the balancing of family demands and workplace year–end pressures. Regardless of such amounting pressures, businesses should not neglect their responsibilities to employees and clients before closing for the holidays.

 

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Privacy, privilege and wilfulness

On July 26th, 2016, the Supreme Court of British Columbia released an interesting decision that addresses questions regarding: (1) the scope of privilege that applies to work done by lawyers in relation to judicial proceedings; and (2) the interpretation of BC’s Privacy Act with respect to the requirements of “wilfulness”.

 

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Risk and strategy entwined

Risk Officers have to consider themselves as business executives first and foremost. While their charter may talk about ‘risk’, their job is to help the board and executive team achieve the corporate objectives. They need to put themselves in the shoes of the CEO and board members. They cannot afford only to concern themselves with reasons not to pursue ventures–implying a desire to stay home and vegetate. Think like a CEO, act like a CEO, and talk like a CEO. Provide leadership with the information, process, systems, and so on to make effective decisions that lead to success.

 

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Explaining risk management in plain English

I have been saying for a while that one of the reasons for the disconnect between senior executives and risk practitioners is the latter’s language.

 

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