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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Learn from British Airways’ security breach reporting and notification

British Airways’ experience described in this article underscores that cybersecurity is important, and Canadian entities preparing for mandatory security breach reporting and notification coming into force soon can take lessons from British Airways’ response to a security breach.

 

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No good deed goes unpunished

Fundamentally, charities are actors in society as are any others. We all have a duty of care to some degree to our neighbors. Indeed, generally the closer the relationship the higher the standard of care one expects. Consequently, charities need to be aware that even in the pursuit of charitable activities, they could be liable if their activities do not take into account the safety and the potential damage of their actions to either their beneficiaries or to their patron donors.

 

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Ontario court strikes down limits on non-partisan political advocacy by charities

An Ontario court decision rendered on July 16th may completely change the rules about political advocacy by Canadian charities. The decision struck down the law limiting a charity’s non-partisan political activities. This affects every Canadian charity hoping to get public support for policies relevant to its charitable purposes and activities.

 

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Upcoming deadlines and changes for charities and other not-for-profits

Charities and not-for-profit organizations need to be aware of some upcoming changes to rules and laws.

 

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Charity checklist: What to do if your charity is audited

The best defence against negative audit consequences is proactive compliance with the Income Tax Act. Charities should take care to familiarize themselves with the rules in the Act and ensure that they demonstrate compliance with these rules.

 

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30 months in jail for facilitating false donation tax scheme

While donors to fraudulent donation schemes may not be morally innocent, their culpability does not reach the level of the promoters of these schemes. It is refreshing to see the CRA prosecuting those responsible, rather than merely reassessing and penalizing taxpayers.

 

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Wine(ing) about donations

A recently released decision of the Tax Court of Canada illustrates some of the problems in donating gifts in kind and their valuation.

 

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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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Working together works: Ontario Securities Commission approves reduced sanction for insider tipper who cooperated with investigation

The OSC recently approved a settlement agreement in which the respondent admitted to providing material non-public information to a third party. The order in Re Hutchinson, which did not include an administrative penalty or disgorgement of profits, was held to be in the public interest given the respondent’s cooperation and other mitigating factors.

 

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The board and enterprise culture

This article looks at the Board’s involvement in managing enterprise culture. In the corporate context, culture is a system of values, beliefs and behaviors that shape how things get done within the organization.

 

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Legal issues for charities and NPOs on social media networks

It is recommended that an organization implement policies and procedures that minimize the legal risks associated with using social media. This includes training protocols to educate volunteers and employees on these risks.

 

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Forewarned is forearmed: Questions you should ask before joining a board of directors

Serving as a director of a charity or NPO can be an enriching and exhilarating experience. Many Canadians contribute to the betterment of their community by the hours volunteered when serving on a board of directors. However, there are some things to watch out for before joining a charity’s board of directors.

 

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An ounce of preparation

There is no need to reinvent the wheel in this crisis management initiative. There are many resources online and common-sense articles, checklists and manuals about crisis management.

 

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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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Back to school: A new world for foreign universities

The system of rules imposed on registered charities are complex and are imposed both on the collection of revenue and its spending. In theory, all of these rules now apply to foreign universities.

 

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