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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Financial Management

“Social impact bonds” on the rise in Canada

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are an interesting part of the larger trend of ‘impact investing’ that has been rising in Canada and around the world in recent years.

 

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Canadian Federal Budget 2019 and its impact on non-profits and charities

Finance Minister Morneau delivered the 2019 Federal Budget on March 19, 2019. Here is our article.

 

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Changes in Ontario to director remuneration

The new provisions of Ontario Regulation 112/18 that amends O. Reg. 4/01 (Approved Acts of Executors and Trustees) under the Charities Accounting Act modify the existing Ontario common law rule that prohibited a charity from making payments to a director (or any person related to him/her) for any reason (other than reimbursement of expenses) without first obtaining a court order.

 

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Implement effective governance practices in not-for-profits

There are increasing pressures on not-for-profit boards to implement effective governance practices. The growth in the sector and the increase in financial, cybersecurity, and other risk factors have fuelled pressures on not-for-profits to be more accountable to its members, donors and other stakeholders.

 

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It’s almost year end; avoid cut-off errors

Cut-off errors are common and it is important that you avoid them, particularly at year end when one fiscal year will be closed and finalized for the external audit or as a precursor to starting the new fiscal year.

 

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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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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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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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Senate of Canada to study charitable sector

On January 30th, 2018, the Senate of Canada passed a motion to appoint a Special Committee of the Senate to review issues related to the charitable sector in Canada. The Senate confirmed that the Committee’s general mandate will be to examine “the impact of federal and provincial laws governing charities, non-profit organizations, foundations, and other similar groups, and to examine the impact of the voluntary sector in Canada.”

 

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Receipting and donor relations

This case is a reminder that charities need to be mindful of the rules when they issue donation receipts. Donors rely on the receipts in order to claim tax credits/deductions. If the Minister denies a donor’s claim for a tax credit/deduction on the basis that the charity did not include all of the required information, this will reflect poorly on the charity and could harm its relationships with donors.

 

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Directors’ liability for source deductions

An issue came up when a CRA auditor queried CRA rulings. She had a file where she intended to assess the directors of a not-for-profit corporation for its failure to remit trust funds. The directors had retained legal counsel, who was of the view that directors’ liability does not apply to directors of a not-for-profit corporation.

 

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