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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Competition

UPDATE: Competition compliance during the COVID-19 crisis: Price-gouging, deceptive marketing and collusion

In a policy statement on April 8, 2020, the Commissioner of Competition acknowledged the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis and advised businesses that the Bureau would be unlikely to challenge good faith efforts at competitor collaboration that were aimed at responding to the crisis and meeting the essential needs of Canadians.

 

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Competition compliance during the COVID-19 crisis: Price-gouging, deceptive marketing and collusion

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in obtaining access to financing, maintaining their supply chains, serving their customers and keeping their employees healthy and safe. But as businesses struggle to maintain their normal business operations, they need to remain vigilant to ensure compliance with Canada’s competition and consumer protection laws.

 

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Time to wake up to risk reality

For 11 years, the ERM Initiative at North Carolina University has surveyed executives (this year they were again all financial executives) about what they call “the current state of risk oversight processes in organizations of all types and sizes to obtain an understanding of the relative maturity of underlying activities executives and boards use to monitor the rapidly changing risk landscape”.

 

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COVID-19 market impacts and the risk of opportunism

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a sledgehammer to stock markets, with the S&P/TSX 60 and S&P 500 each plunging approximately 20% during the first quarter of 2020. While boards and management must contend with a long list of pressing and unprecedented issues affecting business operations, they should also consider that the current drop in stock prices may fuel a wave of activism and opportunistic M&A activity once the immediate crisis subsides, and prepare accordingly.

 

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COVID 19 impact: Ontario issues emergency order prohibiting price gouging of necessary goods

On March 28, 2020, the Government of Ontario issued an emergency order prohibiting retailers and individuals from charging unfair prices for necessary goods that Ontarians need to protect themselves from COVID-19. The necessary goods on the list include:

 

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Everybody should be familiar with this

Scenario analysis is a method for creating responses to various future events with the aim of reducing uncertainty and maximizing the chances of achieving a desired outcome.

 

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New ERM Guidance from COSO

Creating and Protecting Value: Understanding and Implementing Enterprise Risk Management is based on COSO’s 2017 update of its 2004 ERM Framework. Their intent is to explain how effective ERM can add value to an organization, and to give some guidance on how to implement or upgrade it.

 

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Year in review: Five key takeaways from Canadian trademark case law in 2019

2019 was a year to remember in Canadian trademark law primarily because, after a delay of five years, Canada finally implemented the amendments to the Canadian Trademarks Act introduced in 2014.

 

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Which comes first, risk or control?

Can you assess the overall system of internal controls without considering risk management? I don’t think so, and neither does COSO. That is why there is a risk component in their internal control framework.

 

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A new code sets back the status and practice of internal auditing

he Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (the UK affiliate of the global Institute of Internal Auditors) is usually a thought leader, promoting and explaining best and leading internal auditing practices. For example, they have done excellent work on [enterprise] risk-based auditing.

 

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The debate over Vavilov’s applicability to commercial arbitration appeals continues in Alberta

In just two short weeks, Canadian courts in different provinces have reached opposite conclusions on whether the new standard of review framework for administrative tribunals, as set out in Bell and Vavilov, applies to local commercial arbitrations.

 

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Entering the era of operational resilience

Operational resilience is the ability of a business to tolerate shocks and maintain normal operations. Those shocks can be all sorts of things — IT failures, natural disasters, terrorism, cyberattacks — but they’re typically sudden shocks, happening within hours or even minutes, that threaten your company’s ability to provide whatever it is you provide to customers.

 

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Consumer directed finance: Open banking in Canada

On January 31, 2020, Canada’s Advisory Committee on Open Banking (the Committee) released its report, “Consumer-directed finance: the future of financial services” (the Report), moving Canada towards the next phase in its process of implementing open banking legislation.

 

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Risk and consequences

I like to think that effective risk management helps the managers of an organization, at all levels, make the informed and intelligent decisions necessary for success – reliably achieving enterprise objectives considering all the things that might happen, both positive and negative.

 

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New guidance for risk committees

A new publication by the Risk Coalition (a group of organizations in the UK that includes their Institute of Directors, a couple of risk management associations, and the organizations for internal and external auditors) merits our attention. Raising the Bar: Principles-based guidance for board risk committees and risk functions in the UK Financial Services Sector has some interesting content. For example, it says:

 

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