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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Internal Controls

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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Top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts published in 2014 and Season’s Greetings

The holidays are upon us and it is time to take a well deserved break. We are signing off for 2014 with a list of the top 10 most read posts published in 2014. Although Canada’s anti-spam legislation dominated the list, accessibility, internal controls and charities were also very topical.


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Internal control system: How is your accountability?


In COSO’s updated Internal Control – Integrated Framework, one of the 17 principles they present is that the organization holds individuals accountable for their internal control responsibilities in the pursuit of objectives. Have you considered how your control system enforces accountability?


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Monitoring controls: The top ten tax controls

At year end, external auditors heading into the tax department do not generally rely on internal controls to reduce testing; a great deal of effort is focused on substantively testing the income tax balances on the financial statements. Tax processes are notoriously manual in nature with numerous adjustments required to manipulate general ledger information into useable tax information. We have compiled a list of the top ten tax controls every company should have in place with the emphasis (as expected) on monitoring controls.


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Succession planning: Apple did it right; why do so many do it wrong?

Lululemon announced Monday that chief executive officer Christine Day will be stepping down after a five-year tenure. Shares plummeted after the statement, down 15 percent by Tuesday morning. During her time as CEO, Day helped grow the high-end yoga brand’s sales to more than $1 billion annually. It’s clear that CEO transitions present a great deal of risk for shareholders, especially as new perceptions are formed. So what’s the best way to deal with risk mitigation during publicized CEO transitions?


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Slaw: The state of whistleblowing in Canada

Whistleblowing occurs when employees reveal corporate wrongdoing, usually in their organization, to law enforcement. Unfortunately, it is common for whistleblowers to experience demotion, dismissal and otherwise negative treatment from their employers after they disclose the malfeasance or corruption. In order to deal with this serious issue, some companies have created codes of ethics to ensure that their directors, officers and employees are aware of and adhere to standards of conduct that ensure the company performs and is represented in an honest and responsible manner.


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What to do if you are a victim of cyberbullying or cyberlibel – Part 1

In last month’s posting, I wrote about the tragic case of Rehteah Parsons, the Nova Scotia teenager who took her own life after being cyberbullied. I have since received requests for some of my readers for advice on what to do if you are a victim of cyberbullying. I will respond to this request in two postings. The first is meant for parents of children who are being cyberbullied. The second, which will appear in next month’s posting, is meant for adults that are victims of cyberlibel or cyberbullying. This information can also help businesses take steps to support employees and manage the risk of cyberlibel or cyberbullying in their organizations.


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Why your organization needs a Tax Plan Implementation Review (TPIR)

Board members and senior management are quite familiar with compliance requirements for CEO and CFOs certification and the importance of maintaining strong internal controls over financial results. The certification process extends to internal controls over income taxes balances in the financial statements. For the majority of companies with a well-staffed tax department, monitoring controls remain the strongest control and most frequently used. Senior management is however, frequently unaware of the potentially material risk associated with tax plans implemented in the past; undergoing an annual TPIR assists in mitigating this risk to a manageable level.


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Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act delayed

I’ve lost count of the coming-into-force dates the government has set for the Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act to take effect, but this time at least it seems there’s a clear reason. The previous estimate for the law to come into force was July of this year; the new estimated date is “no earlier than” January 2014.


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