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World Economic Forum white paper on seeking return on ESG

Jan 24, 2019

On January 24, 2019, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published "Seeking Return on ESG: Advancing the Reporting Ecosystem to Unlock Impact for Business and Society".

The paper captures the findings of an extensive consultation process, uncovering opportunities for collective action between the complex and diverse set of stakeholder groups that influence ESG reporting, and highlighting where greater action is needed to accelerate system-level progress.

Review the paper on the WEF's website.

CBCA corporations must begin tracking controlling shareholders

Jan 21, 2019

On January 21, 2019, Torys LLP published an article on how CBCA corporations will soon have to establish a securities register detailing all individuals with significant control over the corporation.

The new regulations under Bill C-86 Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2 become effective on June 13, 2019. Existing record-keeping obligations under the CBCA pertain to registered shareholders only—those named on the corporation’s share certificates, who are often intermediaries holding shares on behalf of beneficial shareholders. The new share register requirements pertain to all individual shareholders, registered or beneficial, who have significant control, direct or indirect, over the corporation.

Review the full article on Torys LLP's website.

The Global Risks Report 2019

Jan 15, 2019

On January 15, 2019, the World Economic Forum released the 14th edition of its report, which provides an opportunity to place the global risk landscape into context at the beginning of the new year and identify priority areas for action in 2019.

The Global Risks Report 2019 is published against a backdrop of worrying geopolitical and geo-economic tensions. If unresolved, these tensions will hinder the world’s ability to deal with a growing range of collective challenges, from the mounting evidence of environmental degradation to the increasing disruptions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

This year’s report includes another series of “what-if” Future Shocks that examine quantum computing, weather manipulation, monetary populism, emotionally responsive artificial intelligence and other potential risks. The theme of emotions is also addressed in a chapter on the human causes and effects of global risks; the chapter calls for greater action around rising levels of psychological strain across the world.

Review the report on the World Economic Forum's website.

The Lauder global business insight report 2019: The global push for change

Jan 04, 2019

On January 4, 2019, the Lauder Institute released this special report, where students from the Joseph H. Lauder Institute for Management & International Studies offer insights into the global struggle for change.

In every corner of the world, change is visible. Governments, businesses, organizations and individuals are pushing for transformation, refusing to accept the status quo because they believe there is a better way that can benefit more people.

From the expansion of women’s rights in Argentina and greater financial inclusion Brazil, to closing the digital divide in India and improving infrastructure in South Africa, re-visionaries are hard at work.

Review the full report on the Lauder Institute's website.

IESBA Meeting Highlights December 3-5, 2018

Dec 26, 2018

On December 26, 2018, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) released the highlights of its December 3-5, 2018 meeting.

Discussion points included:

  • Fees
  • Technology
  • Emerging Issues and Outreach Committee (EIOC)
  • IAASB-IESBA Coordination
  • Rollout of the Revised Restructured Code
  • Strategy and Work Plan 2019-2023 (SWP)
  • eCode
  • Role and Mindset
  • Non-assurance Services (NAS)
  • IESBA Working Processes
  • Part 4B ISAE 3000 Alignment

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

Achieving Balance in the Integrated Report

Dec 20, 2018

In December 2018, the Integrated Reporting Committee (IRC) of South Africa released its latest technical paper "Achieving Balance in the Integrated Report: An Information Paper".

The Paper discusses the role of the governing body, the meaning of balanced reporting, challenges and weaknesses, and lists some key considerations in achieving a balanced integrated report.

Review the report on the IRC's website.

Sustainability reporting gets a new set of standards

Dec 18, 2018

On December 18, 2018, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an interview written and compiled by Deloitte. In the interview, Kristen Sullivan, an Audit & Assurance partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP and Sustainability Risk and KPI Services leader, spoke with Robert Herz, who sits on the SASB Foundation Board and is a former chair of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

For years, sustainability reporting has been criticized for not having the rigor of traditional financial reporting. Newly minted standards from the SASB may change that view.

In the interview, they discussed Herz’s long-time interest in sustainability reporting, why more companies may be ready to embrace the voluntary standards, and questions management can expect from their board about sustainability reporting, among other topics.

Review the full interview on the Deloitte WSJ's website.

Should corporate sustainability reporting be mandated?

Dec 18, 2018

On December 18, 2018, the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, offered a debate on how corporate sustainability reporting should be mandated, and standardized by FASB and IASB, for it to be most useful for investors.

The debate was chaired by Lady Lynn de Rothschild, Founder and CEO of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism. Speaking in favor of the resolution were Ms. Anne Simpson, Investment Director of CalPERS, Mr. Paul Druckman, Former CEO of the IIRC, and Mr. Ian Mackintosh, Former Vice Chair of the IASB. Speaking against the resolution were Mr. Tom Quaadman, EVP of the US Chamber of Capital Markets, Mr. Bob Herz, Former Chair of the FASB and Mr. Harvey Pitt, Former Chairman of the SEC.

The debate highlighted the difficulties in establishing standards for mandatory sustainability reporting. The FASB and the IASB are skilled accounting standards-setters but advise that they neither have the resources or background and skill sets for developing standards for sustainability reporting. Also, sustainability reporting is generally disclosed in the MD&A, rather than the audited financial statements. All of the speakers acknowledged the pioneering work of the SASB in this area, resulting in the world’s first set of industry-specific sustainability standards. However, these standards are currently voluntary, not mandatory, and are not yet widely adopted.

A Green Paper focusing on the arguments for and against the motion was released in preparation for the debate.

A recording of the debate is available on YouTube.

IFIAR Releases 2018 Report on Survey of Audit Regulators’ Enforcement Regimes

Dec 14, 2018

On December 14, 2018, the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) released its report on the Survey of Enforcement Regimes. The report underscores the extent to which IFIAR members have the authority to respond to auditor misconduct and enforce compliance with the rules, laws, and standards that govern the audit profession in different parts of the globe. The results recognize the unique and critical role that enforcement plays in audit oversight.

Forty-two IFIAR members participated in the 2018 Survey, which sought information from members concerning the authority and structures of their enforcement programs, the handling and reporting of enforcement matters, historical and trend information, sharing information with other regulatory 
authorities, and ideas for reform. The 2018 Survey updates results from the first enforcement survey in 2014 and focuses on the three years from 2015 through 2017.

Review the press release and report on the IFIAR's website.

Stavros Thomadakis Reappointed IESBA Chairman

Dec 13, 2018

On December 13, 2018, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) announced the reappointment of Dr. Stavros Thomadakis as IESBA Chairman for a further one-year renewable term commencing January 1, 2019.

Under Dr. Thomadakis’ leadership, the IESBA has completed a number of major projects, resulting in the revised and restructured International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards), which will become effective in June 2019. His dedication to high quality, fit-for-purpose ethics standards for the global accountancy profession is reflected in the ambitious strategy and work plan 2019-2023 just approved by the IESBA.

Review the press release on the IESBA's website.

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