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IAASB seeks public comment on exposure draft of conforming amendments to the international standards as a result of the revised IESBA Code

Nov 15, 2019

On November 15, 2019, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) released an Exposure Draft focused on conforming amendments to the International Standards as a result of the revised International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants’ International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (IESBA Code). Comments are requested by January 10, 2020.

The project aims to align the IAASB’s International Standards with the revisions to the IESBA Code by way of conforming amendments, thus ensuring that the IAASB's International Standards can continue to be applied together with the IESBA Code.

This project falls under the umbrella of IAASB-IESBA coordination, a strategic commitment of the two Boards, and builds on their overarching commitment for enhanced connectivity and coordination to better serve the public interest.

Review the press release and Exposure Draft on the IESBA's website.

Speech on ethics, professionalism and the public interest

Nov 04, 2019

On November 4, 2019, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) released a speech by Dr. Stavros Thomadakis, IESBA Chair given at the National Accounting Institute in Beijing, China.

In his speech, he discusses:

  • IESBA: An independent and authoritative standard setter
  • Restructuring and revision: The new code of 2018
  • The ecode: A valuable tool for users
  • Working for the future
  • Recognizing the synergy of ethics and ISAs
  • Technological revolution
  • From global ethical practice to ethical leadership

Review the full speech on the IESBA's website.

It’s time to reassess ESG and sustainability reporting

Oct 28, 2019

On October 28, 2019, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) posted a blog that discusses how nearly all S&P 500 companies provide some form of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) or sustainability reports today, but there are growing concerns by a range of stakeholders—investors, employees, customers, regulators, and activists—regarding the quality, comparability, and usefulness of these reports.

For a variety of reasons and based on analysis of several approaches to disclosure, expect increasing stakeholder demands are expected for more transparent and higher quality ESG reporting.

Read the full blog on the NACD's website.

ESG risks trickle into financial filings

Oct 21, 2019

On October 21, 2019, the NACD BoardTalk released a blog on how investors in 2019 have increasingly turned their attention to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics, and are demanding more information on how companies are thinking about the potential long-term risk and opportunities related to specific environmental and social factors.

As companies prepare for the 2020 proxy season and engage with shareholders, directors should understand the current state of ESG risk reporting in public filings.

Review the full blog on the NACD BoardTalk's website.

How engaged is your team, really?

Oct 09, 2019

On October 9, 2019, the Harvard Business Review published an article on how a recent global study of engagement from the ADP Research Institute found that if employees consider themselves part of a team (or even better, part of more than one team), they are twice as likely to feel engaged in their work.

Knowing that engagement is tied to teams is critical for leaders looking to increase their output, since engagement is a known driver of productivity.

Leaders should look for these three signs:

  • Lack of teamwork
  • Playing the system
  • Only managing up

Review the full article on the Harvard Business Review's website.

Proposal issued for unified approach to certain tax challenges of digitalization

Oct 09, 2019

On October 9, 2019, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD) released a proposal that seeks to harmonize aspects of three initial proposals to develop a possible new approach to address the nexus and profit allocation challenges arising from digitalization.

As part of the ongoing work of the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting ("Inclusive Framework"), the OECD released a public consultation document containing a Secretariat Proposal for a "Unified Approach" under Pillar One. This follows on from the program of work issued on May 31, 2019, and seeks to harmonize aspects of the three initial proposals around user participation, marketing intangibles and significant economic presence in order to develop a possible new approach. It does not, at this stage, have consensus political support from the more than 130 governments participating in the Inclusive Framework.

Review a summary on Deloitte Tax's website.

IESBA Meeting Highlights September 16-19, 2019

Oct 08, 2019

On October 8, 2019, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) released the highlights of its September 16-19, 2019 meeting.

Discussion points included:

  • Highlights & Key Developments
  • Alignment of Part 4B with ISAE 3000
  • Non-Assurance Services
  • Fees
  • Technology

Review the highlights and the podcast on the IESBA's website.

Caremark duties include duty not only to establish oversight processes but also to monitor them

Oct 07, 2019

On October 7, 2019, the D&O diary published an article on the October 1, 2019 decision in the Clovis Oncology Derivative Litigation. In the decision, the Delaware Chancery Court provided further perspective on directors’ potential liability for breaches of the duty of oversight.

Boards not only must be able to show that they have made good faith efforts to implement an oversight system, but that also that they monitor the system – particularly when a company operates in a highly regulated industry.

Review the full article on the D&O diary's website.

Stakeholders’ primacy: paradigm shift confirmed

Sep 30, 2019

In September 2019, Norton Rose Fulbright released a summary of Bill C-97, which stipulates that when acting in the best interests of the corporation, directors and officers may consider, but are not limited to the interests of shareholders and certain other stakeholders.

At first glance, the new provision appears consistent with the Supreme Court’s reasoning in cases on director liability, but, given a heightened climate for director accountability and recent focus on stakeholder interests in Canada and abroad, it is imperative to review the potential implications of these changes for corporate leaders.

The summary covers:

  • From shareholder’s to stakeholder’s primacy?
  • CBCA now expressly recognizes stakeholder interests
  • Differences between the CBCA and US corporate statutes
  • Recommendations

Review Bill C-97 on the Parliament of Canada's website and the summary on Norton Rose Fulbright's website.

Gender equality is within our reach

Sep 30, 2019

In September 2019, the Harvard Business Review published an article by Melinda Gates, where she discusses that even though American women did reach that 50% threshold in 2010 (and currently comprise 49.8% of the nonfarm workforce), the same old inequalities have simply followed women to new places. Women still aren’t earning as much, rising as high, or having an equal voice in decision-making.

Across all aspects of American life, it is most often men who set policy, allocate resources, lead companies, shape markets, and determine whose stories get told. Meanwhile, what gains have been made typically haven’t extended to all women. The women historically the most marginalized in this country — including women of color, poor women, and lesbian and trans women — are still the most likely to be trapped in minimum-wage jobs, the least likely to hold managerial roles, and the most likely to face sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

Review the full article on the Harvard Business Review's website.

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