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Department of Justice eases “Yates Memo” requirements for cooperation credit

Dec 02, 2018

On December 2, 2018, the D&O Diary published an article on how one of the important questions about U.S. Department of Justice’s approach following the change of Presidential Administration two years ago was whether DOJ would continue emphasizing its policy of individual accountability in the agency’s 2015 statement known as the Yates Memo.

In a recent speech, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced changes to the policy. The changes, which are more in the form of an adjustment rather than a wholesale change, makes it clear that companies seeking cooperation credit no longer need to identify “all” individuals involved in the wrongdoing, so long as the companies identify those who were “substantially involved” in the misconduct.

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

Keynote address to the Economic Club of Canada by Frank Vettese

Nov 22, 2018

On November 22, 2018, we released a video where Frank Vettese, Chief Executive and Managing Partner of Deloitte Canada, discussed what it will take to build a better future for our country over the next 25 years.

What does it mean for Canada to be a global leader? How should Canadian businesses respond to constant disruption? Will a more inclusive business climate unlock Canada’s competitive advantage? Who will develop the leaders of tomorrow?

To answer these questions, Deloitte Canada has invested in a multi-year research initiative called Canada at 175 to study the factors that drive business performance, from productivity and preparedness for technological disruption to cultural business imperatives like courage and inclusion.

Deloitte’s newest research tackles perhaps the most important question of all: what are the traits for lasting business success? Not just to endure, but to thrive—and secure a more prosperous future in Canada.

View the video on YouTube.

Winds of change: The case for new digital currency

Nov 14, 2018

On November 14, 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a speech by Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director, given at the Singapore Fintech Festival.

In her speech, Ms. Lagarde discusses the following topics:

  • The changing nature of money and the fintech revolution
  • A case for Central Bank Digital Currencies
  • Downsides of Bank Digital Currencies

She states that while the case for digital currency is not universal, we should investigate it further, seriously, carefully, and creatively. More fundamentally, the case is about change—being open to change, embracing change, shaping change. In the world of Fintech, we need to harness change so it is fair, safe, efficient, and dynamic.

Review the full speech on the IMF's website.

IESBA Chairman’s Keynote Address at APESB Dinner in Sydney

Nov 08, 2018

On November 8, 2018, Dr. Stavros Thomadakis, Chairman of the IESBA, gave a keynote address at an APESB dinner in Sydney, Australia. In celebrating the news regarding the incorporation of the Restructured International Code of Ethics into the Australian ethical standards, Dr. Thomadakis shared his thoughts about the essentials of the Code, its global positioning, and the challenges that both standard setters and users of the Code face for the present and future.

Topics covered included:

  • Essentials of the Ethics Code
  • Global Positioning of the Code
  • Public Expectations, Public Interest, Regulation 
  • The Technological Revolution
  • Global Ethical Practice: Integration or Fragmentation? 

Re­view the speech on the IESBA's web­site.

SASB issues industry-specific sustainability accounting standards

Nov 07, 2018

On November 7, 2018, the US Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) issued the world's first set of industry-specific sustainability accounting standards covering financially material issues in 77 industries. The standards aim at providing investors with in-depth information about the impact of a company’s actions on society and the environment - they come at a time of increased investor concern about companies' business practices.

What makes the standards unique in the marketplace is their focus on industry specificity and financial materiality. By addressing the subset of sustainability factors most likely to have financially material impacts on the typical company in an industry, SASB’s industry-specific standards help investors and companies make more informed decisions. They are global in nature and contain concepts that are important for investors and businesses around the world.

The release marks a six-year effort by the SASB. Over the course of those six years, the SASB released several sets of provisional standards for different industries, which have already been used by companies around the world. The SASB standards can be used alongside other sustainability frameworks and are well-aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and are complementary to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Review the press release and download the standards on the SASB's website.

Reporting matters study sees promising step towards more robust reporting on global issues

Oct 23, 2018

On October 23, 2018, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released its 2018 edition of Reporting matters, annual review of member companies’ sustainability and integrated reports.

This year’s report aims to show how companies are linking reporting and decision-making through three topic-specific addendum reports focused on climate change, water and human rights.

Key findings from Reporting matters 2018

The main Reporting matters publication continues to provide good-practice examples as well as general trends and benchmarks over the past five years. This is particularly useful to business because insights can be shared across sectors for collective improvement.

Highlights include:

Reporting is improving

  • 82% of member companies in our benchmark have improved their overall scores since baseline year 2014; 37% have improved their materiality score in this timespan.

The state of SDG reporting

  • 89% of reports reviewed acknowledge the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in some way; 53% map their sustainability strategy to relevant SDGs and provide some evidence of activities.

The state of integrated reporting

  • 33% of reports reviewed combine financial and non-financial information, up from 22% in 2014; 18% are self-declared integrated reports.

The state of GRI reporting

  • 83% of reports reviewed reference the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI); 54% have already transitioned to the GRI Standards launched in October 2016.

Governance is improving

  • 39% of the 115 companies in our sample with ESG data on Bloomberg Terminals have links between sustainability performance and executive remuneration.

The future is digital

  • Only 20% of reports reviewed provide a digital-first experience; but 53% of member companies include the bulk of their report content online to complement their PDF report (2017: 44%).

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

Integrating the SDGs into Corporate Reporting: A Practical Guide

Oct 17, 2018

In 2018, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) initiative released this publication which helps companies of all sizes to prioritize SDG targets to act and report on, set related business objectives, and measure and report on progress.

The publication outlines a three-step process to embed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into existing business and reporting processes. It helps business to better report their impact on the SDGs and address the information needs of relevant stakeholders. This Guide follows an approach that is aligned with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the GRI Standards.

Review the press release and publication on the UNGC's website.

New report: Execs say blockchain adoption has been “harder than expected”

Oct 11, 2018

On October 11, 2018, Forbes published an article on how according to a report released by consulting firm Greenwich Associates, 57% of executives polled said that implementing distributed ledger technology (DLT) at the enterprise level has been harder than expected.

The report is based on data collected from more than 200 executives working on blockchain initiatives at banks, technology vendors, dedicated blockchain companies, exchanges, and consultancy firms, among others.

In the report, 42% of firms identified scalability, which refers to a network's ability to process a high volume of transactions at high speeds, as a "major issue."

Review the article on Forbes' website and the report on Greenwich Associates' website.

Federal government looks to Deloitte for insights on Canada’s competitiveness

Oct 05, 2018

On October 5, 2018, Michael Smith, Deloitte tax partner and Leader, National Tax Office delivered a presentation to the House of Commons Finance Committee on the topic of Canada’s global competitiveness with a focus on tax policy. He was joined by Craig Alexander, Deloitte’s Chief Economist.

A Q&A followed Michael’s presentation where he and Craig answered questions from Members of Parliament, offering insights on a broad range of topics—everything from the challenges to Canada’s productivity, attracting top talent, innovation, and competitiveness and business attractiveness.

The consultations are held each year by the bi-partisan Finance Committee in order to develop recommendations to the Finance Minister regarding the following year’s budget. Deloitte was one of the organizations invited to present in person during the Toronto stop of the committee’s cross-country consultations.

Review a recording and full transcript on the House of Commons Canada's website.

Discussion paper released on taxation of digital economy

Oct 02, 2018

On October 2, 2018, the Australian government released a Discussion Paper seeking views on options to move towards a “fairer and more sustainable tax system for the digitalized economy.” The Australian government remains concerned that some very profitable, highly digitalized companies pay very little tax in the countries in which they do business, including Australia.

The paper is very much a discussion paper canvassing the background issues, noting recent developments and asking a number of discussion questions. The paper does not advance a government view.

The key areas addressed by the paper include:

  • User created value
  • Value of intangibles, including marketing intangibles
  • Profit attribution rules
  • Existing nexus rules
  • Digital business or beyond?
  • Interim options

Submissions on the discussion paper are due by November 30, 2018.

Review our summary and the discussion paper on the Australian government's website.

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