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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Internal Controls

Internal controls for gift giving this holiday season

Many companies effectively minimize the risk of inappropriate gifts through stringent pre-approval requirements because a sufficiently robust and enforced pre-approval policy can reduce the number of gifts simply because of the headache of getting the pre-approval. This has the added benefit of ensuring enforcement of internal controls, largely because of the reduced volume of gifts being included in expense reports.

 

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Small business corporate tax rate reduction 2018

The government news release announcing the reduction in the small business corporate income tax rate did not address whether there would be corresponding changes to the dividend gross-up or non-eligible dividend tax credit rate.

 

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Shareholders have fundamental right to call meetings, Ontario appeal court rules

Court limits ability to refuse a proposal based on “personal grievance” exemption… The Court gave some considerations on the shareholders fundamental right to call meetings, on how to differentiate between “personal grievances” that are not properly matters for a shareholder meeting, and the business and affairs of the company, which are proper matters.

 

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NIST’s recommended password policy evolves

As imperfect a means of authentication as they are, “memorized secrets” like passwords, pass phrases and PINs are common, and indeed are the primary means of authentication for most computer systems. In June, the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued a new publication on digital identity management that, in part, recommends changes to password policy that has become standard in many organizations—policy requiring passwords with special characters.

 

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The future of risk management

The Institute of Risk Management has a great feature where they have asked people around the world, including a number of luminaries, about the future of risk management.

 

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Trusted advisors and world-class internal auditors

I was recently privileged to receive a signed copy of Richard Chambers’ latest book, Trusted Advisors: Key Attributes of Outstanding Internal Auditors. Richard is the President and CEO of The Institute of Internal Auditors, a veteran of internal audit at the highest level, a friend, and an individual with whom I love to debate the practices of internal auditing and risk management. (I hope I am influencing his views on the imminent update of the COSO ERM Framework.)

 

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Section 99 of the Environmental Protection Act: Ontario Courts continue to clarify its scope and power

In Huang v Fraser Hillary’s Limited, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice confirmed that plaintiffs can rely on section 99 of the Environmental Protection Act—a section enacted in 1985—to claim damages for spills which occurred before section 99 was enacted. The Court’s discussion in this case provides helpful guidance on the possible reach and limitations of the so-called “spill action” legislation.

 

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Competition law issues for HR Professionals in Canada

Competition law

A company’s HR functions, such as recruitment and compensation, are not typically regarded as antitrust “hot spots” (as opposed to sales and marketing). Recent cases in the United States, however, highlight how hiring practices can create the risk of competition law violations for companies and their HR personnel. Since Canadian competition law is similar to U.S. antitrust law in these respects, it is important that Canadian HR professionals be aware of these risks and protect themselves and their companies from exposure.

 

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Top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts 2016 & Season’s Greetings

We are signing off with a list of the top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts 2016. Privacy issues and director’s liability seem to have been hot topics this year with several blog posts on the topics making it on the list. The top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts 2016 Director’s liability […]

 

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Charities political activities: CRA consulting on rules

The Government of Canada has committed to modernizing the rules governing the charitable sector to ensure that they are operating in a regulatory environment that respects and encourages their contribution to society. One of the areas they are looking into is clarifying the rules governing charities political activities.

 

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Business tax information just got clearer!

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced that it has redesigned the correspondence it sends to Corporations regarding their business tax information, including individual Canadians, and Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) notices of assessment (NOA) and notices of reassessment (NOR). The CRA has made changes to how the notices are structured, designed, formatted, and written, making the information easier to read and understand.

 

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Evolving employment contract law, political activities and charities

Non-profit organizations may not consider it priority number one, but reviewing your legal compliance will protect your organization’s finances, your reputation, your directors and donors—even your organization—from shifting legal sands.

 

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Maintain direction and control of charitable resources, or lose charity status

According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), one of its main reasons for revoking a charity’s registration is the charity’s failure to devote its resources to its charitable activities. A recent Federal Court of Appeal case provides a refresher on what this requirement entails when a charity uses an agent or other intermediary.

 

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Common anti-fraud controls ineffective at preventing and detecting fraud

A “typical” business can lose five percent of its revenue to fraud according to a recent global fraud study. And organizations are lucky if they detect the fraud at all. Most businesses find out about fraud from a tip, not from strong internal controls.

 

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Key developments in economic sanctions and export controls and what to watch for in 2015

In recent years, Canada has significantly expanded its multilateral and unilateral trade control measures. Broader scope and increased enforcement in the areas of economic sanctions, export and technology transfer controls, and defence trade controls have raised the stakes for Canadians engaged in cross-border activities. Enforcement and reputational risk is higher than ever and it is critical for any Canadian company doing business abroad to ensure it has internal controls in place to mitigate the growing risk exposure.

 

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