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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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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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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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COVID-19 and force majeure: A word of caution

The insurgence of the novel COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing effect on the domestic and global economies has required companies to consider potential remedies should they, or their counterparties, not be able to perform under contracts. One potential remedy is force majeure.

 

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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 risk case study

I returned this week from a vacation in Mexico, including a day at the Copper Canyon. Our tour guide took about 20 of us down the mountain side to see some Tarahumara Indian homes. I decided that I wanted to come back ahead of the group, finding my way back up the path and steps to our hotel at the top. What might happen along the way? In other words, what would a risk manager put on a list or heat map?

 

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Managing risk when the board is over-confident

When we talk about confidence in managing risks, we’re really talking about confidence in the effectiveness of your risk management program — and apparently, we have a systemic disconnect between the board and management about that issue.

 

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Finally some good advice on risk for boards

While I still disagree in some areas, I applaud Jim DeLoach for his latest piece for the (US) National Association of Corporate Directors, Revamping Risk in the Digital Age. Please read the entire piece, but here are points I especially like, with my highlights:

 

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The unfiltered truth necessary for effective corporate governance

Corporate governance and “long-termism” are key buzzwords in our modern fiduciary lexicon. Between Q1 2018 and Q2 2019, governance deficiencies were responsible for the highest number of enforcement occurrences across major financial services regulators, according to research from global professional services firm Navigant.

 

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Risk and the lemonade stand: how it matters in the simplest settings

This is a ‘risk management’ challenge. What are the parents’ objectives and how would you go about assessing whether the likelihood of achieving them is acceptable and, if not, what actions to take?

 

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An ERM horror story

Does it make sense to aggregate risk levels for a variety of risk sources, including cyber, compliance, credit, liquidity, competitor, and internal control over financial reporting?

 

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Understanding the challenges in risk management

My good friend, Michael Rasmussen, has written what I consider a special blog post on the topic of Challenges in Risk Management.

 

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Top Canadian charity law issues by Mark Blumberg

Here is our list of the Top Canadian Charity Law Issues by Mark Blumberg. Hopefully, it provides a good overview of the most common charity law compliance issues for Canadian registered charities with an emphasis on concerns from the Charities Directorate of CRA.

 

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How often should you assess risk?

I recently listened to a new video by my friend, Alex Sidorenko. In How often [should] the risk assessments be performed, he makes some solid points, including:

 

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The positive side of risk

So how should we talk about the good stuff if we reserve the word ‘risk’ for the bad?

 

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Excellent advice for all of us involved in managing risk

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has published a first class document, Enabling the accountant’s role in effective enterprise risk management.

 

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