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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Thinking about customer relationship management

CRM

The concept of customer relationship management (CRM) has long-existed before it was given a designation. In fact, it is a not-so-new buzzword that sounds wonderful, but is actually very hard to implement. What CRM refers to is a kind of cross-functional business strategy that allows organizations to learn more about their customers.

 

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Accountants call for national entrepreneurship strategy

Canadians are pretty good at creating businesses that last, according to a new study by the Chartered General Accountants’ Association of Canada. Around 85 percent of new Canadian businesses survive for a year, 62 percent make it at least three years and 51 percent are still going after five years. The Business Development Bank of Canada puts this last number above 66 percent.

 

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Election fever! Who’s got it?

It’s that exciting time again, when somewhat more than half of Canadians over 18 will come together to select the people who will govern us until the next impassable crisis of parliamentary confidence. For some, it’s a celebratory time when we Canadians demonstrate our democratic will. For others, it’s a cynical time (I know: how can it be?) when incumbents and hopefuls tell us what we want to hear just to win their seats in Ottawa and their cushy benefits.

 

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Manitoba update!

We’ve paid embarrassingly little attention to Manitoba at First Reference Talks. But that’s all changing as the province that sits on Ontario’s western shoulder (presumably Ontario’s “angel” conscience) has set out to distinguish itself recently. The province has stood up with Alberta and Quebec against the prospect of a national securities regulator, arguing that securities regulation is solely a provincial matter and that the current system works better than a centralized one would.

 

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Another take on IT strategy

In a recent issue of Inside Internal Control, I discussed a report on why small and medium-sized businesses should take information technology strategy and planning seriously. Essentially, according to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, if you don’t strategize your IT, you’re probably wasting time and money just keeping up, when you could be using your resources to support your strategic business plan.

Well, I hope you didn’t rush away after reading that piece and create and implement an IT strategy…

 

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Do you need an IT business and implementation strategy?

You already know how important information technology is to your business. You’ve got a website that pushes your brand and maybe even sells your products; you’ve got an internal network that connects all of your employees to each other and the documents they need; you’ve got company email to manage, and maybe a bunch of cellphones and BlackBerrys to keep track of; you’ve got security cameras, passwords, log-ins and keycards; and you’ve got employee management systems covering attendance, payroll, benefits and more. If any of these fails, you’ve also got a big problem.

 

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Pension reforms are coming to Ontario (and Canada, too)

But who’s going to explain them to you? Or maybe more importantly, who’s going to explain whether the changes mean anything to you?

 

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