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2019

Final report on EU climate benchmarks and benchmark ESG disclosures

Sep 30, 2019

On September 30, 2019, the European Commission (EC) published a final report on "EU Climate Benchmarks and Benchmarks’ ESG Disclosures" by its Technical Expert Group (TEG) on Sustainable Finance.

The report recommends a set of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosure requirements, including the standard format to be used for the reporting.

Review the final report and supporting documents on the EC'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.

Global Ethics Board proposes changes to promote role, mindset expectations

Jul 31, 2019

On July 31, 2019, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) proposed changes to the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code) to promote the role and mindset expected of all professional accountants. The Exposure Draft, "Proposed Revisions to Promote the Role and Mindset Expected of Professional Accountants", puts forward changes that further strengthen the Code. Comments are request by October 31, 2019.

The proposed revisions respond to stakeholder calls for the IESBA to explore whether and how the Code could contribute to strengthening the application of concepts underlying professional skepticism by all professional accountants.

Among other matters, the proposals:

  • Highlight professional accountants’ wide-ranging role in society and the relationship between compliance with the Code and a professional accountant’s responsibility to act in the public interest;
  • Include enhancements to the robustness of the fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity and professional behavior;
  • Further strengthen the Code through requiring professional accountants to have an inquiring mind when applying the conceptual framework; and
  • Highlight the importance of being aware of bias and having the right organizational culture.

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

Hiring for culture fit doesn’t have to undermine diversity

Sep 18, 2019

On September 18, 2019, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) published an article by Mr. Hofmans and Mr. Judge on how although most managers would agree that it is important to hire people who fit in, the idea of hiring for culture fit has become controversial. Their work suggests it need not be.

Most of the controversy boils down to a single key issue: the wrong definition of culture fit. The confusion over what culture fit is has given rise to a number of common misconceptions. Clearing these up can help managers improve their talent strategies.

The misconceptions include:

  1. Culture fit is a “nice to have” but not a necessity
  2. Hiring for culture fit hurts diversity
  3. Hiring for culture fit hurts innovation
  4. Hiring for culture fit is an art, not science

Review the full article on the HBR'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.

How to demonstrate your strategic thinking skills

Sep 23, 2019

On September 23, 2019, the Harvard Business Review published an article on how showing strategic thinking skills tells your bosses that you’re able to think for yourself and make decisions that position the organization for the future.

It assures them that you aren’t making decisions in a vacuum but are considering how other departments might be affected or how the outside world will respond.

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

How to get first-time audit committee members up to speed

Apr 16, 2019

On April 16, 2019, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) released a blog for first-time directors appointed to boards and how realizing the full extent of what the audit committee is responsible for can be an eye opener.

Which of the following areas does the audit committee typically oversee? 

  • Fraud
  • Financial statements
  • Data privacy
  • Whistleblower policies
  • Third-party risk
  • All of the above
  • None of the above

The correct answer, all of the above, won’t surprise anyone who’s served on an audit committee. They know they meet more often than other committees (an average of nine times a year) and their meetings are typically longer than those of other committees.

In the past 10 years, the number of first-time directors appointed to S&P 500 boards has risen from 24 percent of the incoming class to 33 percent, according to Spencer Stuart. Fewer of today’s newly appointed directors are current or former CEOs, and more are women and minorities with other executive experience, such as line or functional leadership.

Along with this shift to selecting directors with more varied backgrounds, we’ve noticed another growing trend: More companies are putting new board members without financial expertise on their audit committees.

Review the full blog on the NACD's website.

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.

IESBA Alert re the June 2019 Launch of its eCode

May 31, 2019

On May 31, 2019, the In­ter­na­tional Ethics Stan­dards Board for Ac­coun­tants (IESBA) re­leased an alert regarding the proposed launch on June 26, 2019 of its eCode—an innovative digital product that offers professional accountants a new way to engage with the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards).

The alert also advises that the IESBA will hold a 30-minute webinar on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at which IESBA Member Brian Friedrich will explain IESBA’s vision for the eCode and provide a quick walkthrough to demonstrate the eCode’s structure, key features and functionalities.

Re­view the press re­lease on the IESBA's web­site.

IESBA Meeting Highlights June 17-19, 2019

Jun 24, 2019

On June 24, 2019, the In­ter­na­tional Ethics Stan­dards Board for Ac­coun­tants (IESBA) re­leased the high­lights of its June 17-19, 2019 meet­ing.

The Agenda was as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Highlights & Key Developments
  • Role & Mindset
  • Non-Assurance Services
  • Fees
  • eCode
  • Chairman’s Final Thoughts
  • Closing Remarks

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

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