www.lexisnexis.ca Vol. 31, No. 9 August 2015
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Effective communication both an art and a science

Contrary to what many think, the art of communication is rooted in science, author and speaker David Barrett said in the keynote address at the CPA Ontario’s Spring Leadership Conference in Toronto recently.
In a presentation entitled “What’s in Your Communications Engine?” Barrett said good leaders instinctively understand skilled communication is mission critical.

“You might not think communication can be a science but it can,” said Barrett, national program director at the Centre of Excellence in Project Management. “You can schedule a walkabout, you can make time on your calendar.”

‘Twitter terrorist’ danger to Canada, conference warned

The rise of ISIS and its mastery of social media to attract participants and funding is a major threat to Canada, lawyer Christine Duhaime told an audience at the recent Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists conference in Toronto.

Duhaime, who specializes in anti-money laundering law and counter-terrorist financing, noted ISIS’s “Twitter terrorists effectively use social media to not only promote their cause but to spread its agenda, attract male and female participants and shill for money.

“They will use a hashtag around a video game to draw a young person in,” she said, noting they even hijacked the #royalbaby tag for a while. “Their appeals are emotionally based and they target both women and men, either to come and join them, or to attack targets in Canada, or to send money, claiming there is a moral obligation to do one of the three.”

As allegations of corruption continue to swirl around the world’s governing soccer body, attention has increasingly turned to the work of KPMG Switzerland, including questions about why the auditor did not red-flag certain financial transactions related to those allegations.

There are mixed opinions about what, if anything, the auditor could have done in relation to this case. Nine senior officials at the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), along with five corporate executives from outside FIFA have been indicted on charges of wire fraud and money-laundering conspiracies, among other offences, by the United States Department of Justice. The 47-count indictment said the accused had received bribes and kickbacks over the past 24 years totalling more than $150 million.

Canadian audit professionals are keen about the adoption of auditor standards that closely mirror new international ones, but are concerned that dual-listed companies in the United States might end up with two frameworks.

Senior officials from the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), Canadian Public Accountability Board, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, members of Canadian audit committees, chief financial officers, and auditors met recently in Toronto to discuss leading contemporary audit issues, including the prospects for adoption of key changes in the IAASB’s New Auditor’s Report. Looming over that roundtable, however, was uncertainty about the decision-making process occurring in another jurisdiction altogether, by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in the United States.