The Bulletin

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Volume
7
Issue
6
03/2020
For several years, Protiviti has described the “future auditor” as a chief audit executive (CAE) who takes definitive steps toward making The Institute of Internal Auditors’ vision of “an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity that adds value and improves an organisation’s operations” a reality. Several issues of The Bulletin have been devoted to describing various aspects of the future auditor’s journey.[1] The future is fast arriving with digital technologies unleashing a tsunami of opportunity and disruption that no one can ignore, particularly internal audit. As...
Volume
7
Issue
5
12/2019
The demands on boards of directors are as significant as they have ever been. Each committee of the board faces its own challenges, too, and the audit committee is no exception. With new accounting standards coming online, an increasingly active Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) inspections agenda, the relevance of the traditional accounting and reporting model under fire, and continued uncertainty in the geopolitical, business and regulatory environment, audit committees indeed have their hands full. As in prior years, we have identified several agenda items for audit...
Volume
7
Issue
5
12/2019
(Offered in Conjunction With Protiviti’s The Bulletin, “Setting the 2020 Audit Committee Agenda”[1]) When the audit committee undertakes an assessment of its composition, charter, agenda and focus, it may want to consider the following questions in light of the company’s industry, circumstances, risks, financial reporting issues and the current challenges it may be facing. These questions are intended to be illustrative and do not purport to cover every topic the committee should consider nor are they intended to apply to every single audit committee. They should be customised to the...
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
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
5
Issue
7
05/2014
In recent years, much has been learned about the importance of integrating risk into strategy-setting. This integration theme is vital because, if it is ignored, risk becomes an afterthought to strategy and an appendage to performance management. We’ve distilled the learnings down to 10 lessons for executives and directors to keep in mind when integrating risk into the process of formulating and executing strategy. What We Don’t Know May Be More Important Than What We Do Know Focusing on what we don’t know requires a process. One approach is to define the critical assumptions representing...
Volume
2
Issue
12
11/2011
In May 2007, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved its interpretive guidance to management on implementing Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. What’s new with respect to this guidance? What hasn’t changed? What’s the impact and opportunity for management and the audit committee? This issue of The Bulletin will explore these and other questions. What’s new? The SEC adopted substantially what they proposed in December 2006. The Commission also adopted amendments to make it clear that an evaluation complying with the guidance would satisfy the requirements of...
Volume
2
Issue
11
11/2011
In Issue 7 of Volume 2 of The Bulletin, we discussed the audit committee agenda over the next 12 months. We also indicated that the subsequent four issues would expound on topics germane to that agenda. This issue of The Bulletin, the last of a succession of four issues following Issue 7, addresses the process of understanding and continuously evaluating an organization’s financial reporting risk profile (FRRP), and why this process is important to senior management and directors. These are risky times When significant financial reporting issues arise, in many cases executives and directors...