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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Financial Compliance / Planning / Management

Plan administrators cannot “undo” negligent representation

It is well established from the case law that a pension plan administrator may be susceptible to legal claims where inaccurate or unclear information has been communicated to plan beneficiaries.

 

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The current state of risk oversight: Useful or useless?

All the surveys, including this one, report that executives do not believe risk management practices at their organization are making a significant contribution to the development and execution of their strategies.

 

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The risk of material errors in the quarterly financial statements

Audit Analytics has released some interesting statistics on financial restatements and SOX. According to them, in 2015 about 5.3% of companies assessed their internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) as ineffective. This is down from 5.8% in 2014 but otherwise the highest level since 2008. This is the key section of their report.

 

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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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When an acceptable level of risk is not acceptable

We are used to identifying a risk, analyzing the potential consequences and their likelihood, and then establishing a ‘risk level’. We evaluate whether the level of risk is acceptable or not, based on risk appetite, risk criteria, or the like. But is that sufficient?

 

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The sharing economy expands the tax base

The sharing economy has disrupted the traditional taxi, hospitality and other sectors, and is expanding the tax base available to governments and revenue agencies worldwide.

 

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Lawful access: The Privacy Commissioner reiterates its position

Patricia Kosseim, Senior General Counsel and Director General, Legal Services, Policy, Research and Technology Analysis for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, was asked, at the request of Commission’s counsel, to provide an overview of the legislation for protecting privacy in Canada and to answer questions about lawful access issues from a federal perspective.

 

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How to mess up your risk management program

Does your risk management activity ‘check the box’, or does it help the organization succeed by making more intelligent and informed decisions?

 

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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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