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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Financial Compliance / Planning / Management

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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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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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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New guidance on operational risk

When an organization is focused on avoiding failure, it is very hard to be successful. Operational risk is basically about the things that can go wrong in day–to–day processes that can trip you up. It is impossible to eliminate such risk. The best you can hope for is to take a level of risk that is appropriate given the business and what it takes to be successful.

 

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Rectification requires prior agreement to succeed: Intention alone insufficient

In two recent decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada held (by a 7–2 majority) that rectification of a written instrument requires the existence of a prior agreement amongst the parties, with definite and ascertainable terms. Courts may rectify an instrument if it fails to accurately record the agreement and the rectification of the instrument would record the parties’ prior agreement.

 

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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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Significant changes to the Canadian patent system

Changes are coming swiftly, as the federal government moves to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement just days after it was signed by Prime Minister Trudeau in Brussels at the end of October 2016. These changes will significantly impact biologic/pharma patents in two major ways.

 

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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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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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