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COVID-19 Checklist: 51 Issues for public company directors and officers to consider

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Jun 11, 2020

Review the following articles to help you navigate the pandemic

COVID-19 Checklist: 51 Issues for public company directors and officers to consider

The COVID-19 pandemic has grown into a health crisis with unique risks that are disrupting business operations and leaving public companies with many questions. While “known unknowns” need to be understood and managed, it is the “unknown unknowns” that need to be surfaced and considered.

We have set out 51 issues we have been addressing for Canadian public companies concerning the impact of COVID-19 on their financial results, operations and cash flows, as well as the price or value of their securities in public capital markets.

Fortune 500 GCs discuss how to be a strategic asset through the pandemic

As the country settles into the new routine of social distancing and working from home, and the pandemic begins to show early—if subtle—signs of subsiding, boards and management are beginning to shift their focus from responding to the crisis to reopening their physical plants amid continued safety concerns. This complex process is dependent on many variables, from worker safety to differing county and state standards for reopening.

Internal auditors prepare for the return to work post-coronavirus

Most internal audit leaders have been getting involved in preparations at their organizations for returning to the workplace, especially in assessing risks and consulting activities, according to a new survey, but relatively few are actually performing reviews of critical risk areas, such as health and safety.

5 things companies should do in tough times

Straight to the point, tough times call for tough measures. Or do they? It all depends on how you define tough measures and how appropriate they really are for the circumstances. As companies currently face a unique situation in modern history and are evaluating continued operations, balancing profits with acceptable levels of loss, functioning with massively more remote work and trying to make up for any economic disruptions, the first thought tends to be “How can we cut costs?”

Accountants can help companies set strategy to deal with coronavirus

Management accountants and CFOs can play an important role in guiding companies through the strategic options available to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent Statement on Management Accounting report, “Strategic Analysis—Methods for Achieving Superior and Sustainable Performance,” discusses how management accountants and CFOs can lead strategic analysis and planning to improve the performance of their organizations for the long term, during and after the current pandemic eventually subsides.

Good leaders can overcome institutional inertia in a crisis

Although Covid-19 is clearly a catastrophe, it offers what every social scientist craves: a “natural experiment” that allows us to compare different responses to similar shocks. We have already learned much about what does and doesn’t work in tackling the virus itself. We can also glean profound lessons about the role of leaders.

Your CEO succession plan can’t wait

“We really need to have a name in the envelope as soon as possible.” So begins many of the discussions we’ve been having lately with board members who are frantic about CEO succession planning. Given that the median age of S&P 500 CEOs is 58 — putting many executives at higher risk of Covid-19-related illness — it’s no wonder that inquiries we’ve received from companies around the world focus intensely on best practices in running a “quick” CEO succession process.

Challenges and opportunities in the post-COVID-19 world

While a global pandemic has been a looming risk for decades, COVID-19 has come as a shock to society, health systems, economies and governments worldwide. In the midst of extraordinary challenges and uncertainty, and countless personal tragedies, leaders are under pressure to make decisions on managing the immediate impact of the pandemic and its consequences, decisions that will shape the state of the world for years to come. What might be the silver linings in the crisis and how might leaders use this moment to build a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable world? 

COVID-19 risks outlook a preliminary mapping and its implications

As countries seek to recover, some of the more lasting economic, environmental, societal and technological challenges and opportunities are only beginning to become visible. While societies, governments and businesses collectively grapple with these possibilities, it is vital to anticipate the emerging risks generated by the repercussions from the pandemic.

Green Swan 2 – Climate change and Covid-19: reflections on efficiency versus resilience

Policymakers are increasingly concerned about climate-related risks as manifested in more frequent and more destructive weather catastrophes, causing significant losses to people, firms, banks and insurance companies, and hence posing a growing threat to financial stability. This is one reason why central banks and supervisors have put climate change on their agenda. In the last two years, 65 central banks and financial supervisors have joined the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) (as of 16 April 2020). But climate risks have also caught the attention of society as a whole, as well as that of large investment firms and asset managers.

Cost of compliance: New decade, new challenges

Financial-services firms were already facing an inflexion point in regulatory compliance for 2020, even before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the industry worldwide, according to the 11th annual cost of compliance survey by Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence.

Tightening of risk and compliance budgets, regulatory and cultural change and the possibility of increasing personal liability all provided evidence of a cyclical turn from the post-financial crisis years. It is too early to tell how the novel coronavirus will influence that inflexion over the long term, but already regulators are issuing a flurry of revisions to rules, and firms are asking for the postponement of various regulatory initiatives so they can focus on managing events.

From surviving to thriving: Reimagining the post-COVID-19 return

In this article, we suggest that in order to come back stronger, companies should reimagine their business model as they return to full speed. The moment is not to be lost: those who step up their game will be better off and far more ready to confront the challenges—and opportunities—of the next normal than those who do not.

There are four strategic areas to focus on: recovering revenue, rebuilding operations, rethinking the organization, and accelerating the adoption of digital solutions.

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