The Bulletin

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Volume
7
Issue
4
10/2019
What is the true purpose of the corporation? Does it exist principally to serve the interests of shareholders? Or is its purview more broadly to address the interests of other stakeholders affected by its activities? Should business performance focus solely on financial results and maximisation of profits? Or should it also focus on other dimensions, such as environmental and social impacts in addition to financial results — the so-called “triple bottom line”?  This debate has raged ad nauseam for decades. Largely framed by the economist Milton Friedman, the prevailing notion in the United...
Volume
7
Issue
3
05/2019
In the world of the chief audit executive (CAE), stakeholders are looking for deeper insights and value. It’s a world of rapid change on economic, geopolitical, technological, social and other fronts in which the organisation the CAE serves must adapt and grow or risk decline and its ultimate demise. As the risks companies face and the related audit universe change, the focus and skill sets needed by internal audit must evolve, too. But that change is not possible unless internal audit also innovates and transforms itself to keep pace with the velocity of advancements in the business. For...
Volume
7
Issue
2
04/2019
The Bulletin: Protiviti’s Review of Corporate Governance In a prior issue of The Bulletin, Protiviti discussed the evolution of sustainability; why reporting on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria is important; the obstacles to ESG initiatives; the ESG maturity continuum; what companies should be doing to tackle this topic; and examples of sustainability leaders.1 The premise underlying a corporate focus on sustainability is that corporate leadership is needed to enhance civilisation’s ability to address critical environmental, economic and social challenges and enable the...
Volume
7
Issue
1
12/2018
The demands on boards of directors are as significant today as they have ever been. Each committee of the board faces its own significant challenges, and the audit committee is no exception. Indeed, audit committees have their hands full with new accounting standards coming into effect, an active Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) inspections agenda, and continued uncertainty in the geopolitical, business and regulatory environments. Even the relevance of the accounting and reporting model is currently under fire. As in prior years, we have identified several agenda items for...
Volume
6
06/2018
It’s time to close another volume of The Bulletin — our newsletter series that focuses on key corporate governance and risk management issues for organisations. This volume focuses on a variety of topics, including the essential attributes underlying a successful company’s confidence in facing the future, and the importance of improving corporate culture and promoting sustainable development. We hope these discussions help your organisation thrive in an increasingly complex business environment. All issues of The Bulletin are available at www.protiviti.com/bulletin. Protiviti Inc. June 2018...
Volume
6
Issue
12
06/2018
As a keystone provides integrity to an arch structure, culture infuses the shared values and attitudes that frame how an organisation thinks and behaves. In essence, it gives the organisation its particular character. Culture is a potent source of strength or weakness for an organisation and, good or bad, is almost always at the root of reputation and financial performance outcomes. In this issue of The Bulletin, we explore the question, “Are organisations curious enough to really understand all aspects of their culture?” We also discuss practical ways to facilitate such an understanding....
Volume
6
Issue
11
05/2018
The oft-discussed topic of sustainability conjures up different images for different people in different sectors. As discussions of sustainability move beyond financial performance, they tend to spawn divergent views. Many frame the term as what constitutes responsible behavior in driving continued development and growth without deteriorating the environment, depleting natural resources, or creating conditions that destabilise the economy and vital social institutions. When it comes to sustainability, there are several important realities: The topic is no longer a “tree hugger” fringe concept...
Volume
6
Issue
10
02/2018
Following the September 2017 release of Enterprise Risk Management — Integrating with Strategy and Performance [1] by the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), Protiviti published an issue of The Bulletin encouraging companies to take another look at their enterprise risk management (ERM).[2] Then, in October, Protiviti’s ERM Center of Excellence, together with the COSO chairman and a member of the COSO Advisory Council, conducted a webinar to discuss the importance of the updated framework and its relevance to companies in today’s business environment.[3] ...
Volume
6
Issue
9
12/2017
As we approach 2018, the environment for audit committees appears to be “more of the same.” With the onslaught of new accounting standards, pressures on accounting firms from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to increase audit quality, and uncertainty in the business and regulatory environment, it’s not a surprise that many audit committee members feel tasked to the limit. This storyline has been a constant one over recent years and continues unabated in 2018. Based on interactions with client audit committees, roundtables we have held in 2017, surveys we have conducted,...
Volume
6
Issue
8
09/2017
Now that the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) has finalised its Enterprise Risk Management — Integrating with Strategy and Performance framework,[1] it’s time for companies to take a fresh look at their risk management. While the concepts in the updated framework aren’t really new, the emphasis given them is markedly different. The focus is now on what’s most important in maximising the value contributed by enterprise risk management (ERM). The Status Quo for ERM Notwithstanding the availability of various risk frameworks, including COSO’s original ERM...