Business and government have long maintained an adversarial relationship. The business community objects to any government interference in commerce, and government believes it has a duty to protect the public interest with laws and regulations that promote fair competition and force the business community to be a good citizen. In recent years, government efforts to protect the public have drastically increased the cost of doing business. As a result, many companies are rethinking their government relations strategies and identifying ways to improve their relationships with government and the general public.
What is Financial Instrument Risk?
Buyers and sellers may enter into sub-optimal financial or commodity instrument structures that have been standardized for efficient electronic trading. Conversely, buyers and sellers may enter into transactions where some trade terms were not anticipated due to shortcomings in the electronic communication means portraying the transaction.
This particular memo struck a chord with subscribers last week. Last week it held the #3 spot in our Weekly Top 5, which makes sense as public companies are “in the throes” of preparing for their fiscal year-ends, typically involving compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Sarbanes-Oxley compliance once was thought to be a relatively static, predictable process that organizations could rely on to be routine and, for the most part, static. Yet market and regulatory changes continue to make this a more dynamic process, with costs and hours continuing to rise for many organizations. The good news is that more organizations are recognizing the benefits of their compliance efforts through improved internal control structure and business processes.
Expectations for transaction monitoring (TM) governance are quickly evolving due to the complexity of detection systems, the demand for additional operational oversight, increased regulatory scrutiny, and the need for an adequate control framework to guarantee proper risk management.
In November 2012, the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the enforcement division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) jointly released A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“the Guide”). While the 130-page guide is packed with useful information and written in an approachable style free from legalese, it provides perhaps its best and most useful information beginning on page 57 in the section titled, “Hallmarks of an Effective Compliance Program.” In the in introduction to this section, the authors note that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all compliance program, and that it is expected that small to midsize companies’ compliance programs will very likely differ from those in place at much larger organizations. They also point out that companies may consider a variety of factors in tailoring a compliance program to their specific organizations.
In January 2013, healthcare provider organizations bid farewell to an era defined by uncertainty, at least with regard to healthcare reform, and ushered in an era that may very well be defined by volatility, at least in terms of internal systems, processes and procedures. If this assessment is an exaggeration, it is only a slight one. After all, one of the primary sources of uncertainty – whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) would be implemented – was resolved in 2012, following the Supreme Court's monumental decision regarding the law's constitutionality.
In January 2013, the updated version of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) Integrated Internal Control Framework (Framework) went into effect (http://www.ic.coso.org). If you’re wondering what this model is, you probably work for a privately held corporation or a non-profit, or are very new to internal audit.
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