The Rising Tide in Risk Management

by Mark Gibbons 30. October 2015 15:59
Based on the results of a survey conducted in September 2015[1] with 150 directors of public company boards, it seems that directors are finally starting to understand their critical role in addressing cyber security. Indeed, cyber attacks are becoming more and more frequent, often targeting high-profile companies and their sensitive data and information. As the attacks become more widespread and damaging, the involvement of the corporate board in mitigating cyber risk has become an imperative. Of the 150 corporate board directors surveyed, 22% reported having experienced a cyber breach within the past two years, which has doubled since 2013 (11%). While those numbers are alarming, the good news is that 69% of corporate directors reported their board being more involved with cyber security than it was in the previous 12 months. Additionally, more than 70% of board members report having increased their company’s investments in cyber security within the last 12 months. 28% have purchased cyber insurance. Though the tide seems to be turning, the survey results indicate that there are many corporate boards and directors that haven’t yet taken key steps to mitigate cyber risk and protect their digital assets. Only 34% of directors reported having conducted a formal assessment of their critical digital assets, while 32% have had an assessment, but have no final strategy in place based on those assessments. Furthermore, although third-party vendors are a critical source of cyber attacks, only 35% of directors have developed cyber risk requirements for their third-party vendors. Has your board performed a risk assessment of its critical assets? Do you have a plan in place to mitigate cyber attacks? Don’t be the 21% without a plan in place.   To view the results of the survey, conducted by our Alliance partner BDO, click here. [1] Survey conducted by Market Measurement on behalf of Urish Popeck’s alliance partner BDO.
Categories: Risk Management

Updated Fee Disclosures - ERISA 408(b)(2)

by Kevin McGarry 21. June 2012 11:35
Effective July 1, 2012, there will be new ERISA 408(b)(2) disclosure rules. The regulation is intended to help plan sponsors/fiduciaries understand the administrative and investment costs being paid from their plan’s assets. Individual plan holders should have received information directly from their plan service providers (TPA’s, record keepers, etc.) that addresses this new regulation. The full article “Final Fee Disclosure Regulation Issued” can be viewed on Urish Popeck’s website.   Additionally, the newly-required annual disclosure of plan-level and investment-level fees and expenses must be provided to participants no later than Aug. 30, 2012. Please visit the Department of Labor page, which summarizes the regulation, and feel free to reach out to Urish Popeck with any questions you may have.
Categories: Advisory

Fierce Competition in the Technology Industry, Companies Look Towards Positive Long-Term Goals

by Joe Clark 3. April 2012 10:45
With mixed news about the U.S. marketplace painting an uncertain picture of where the economy is headed, technologies companies are focusing on long-term goals, working to grow their bottom lines, acquire intellectual property assets, and increase headcount through strategic transactions.   BDO conducted its fifth annual survey of 100 chief financial officers at U.S. technology companies. Overall, the CFOs projected more modest 2.6 percent revenues than last year’s 10.4 percent rise. To raise funds, 55 percent of the CFOs would use public and private debt, the first time in the five year history of the survey that debt was chosen over private equity.   To read the rest of the BDO Technology Survey and review the other questions that were directed to the CFOs and their answers, please see the 2012 BDO Technology Outlook.
Categories: Advisory

2012 Exempt Organizations Work Plan Released by IRS

by Bill Adams 29. March 2012 12:00
  In February, the IRS issued the 2012 Exempt Organizations (EO) work plan. For those who work with EOs, the plan “provides an opportunity to understand where the IRS enforcement initiatives will be as the IRS must try to allocate its limited resources efficiently.” Historically, the IRS EO Division has focused its enforcement efforts on particular categories of tax-exempt organizations or particular issues. The 2012 work plan exempt organizations list includes: Legislative Implementation Compliance: Using the Form 990 Collaborative Efforts General Work Detailed information regarding focus topics within each of these areas is included in the March 2012 issue of Nonprofit Standard. In addition to the 2012 Exempt Organizations Work Plan, the newsletter contains articles on cost allocations for nonprofits, best practices for travel and expense reimbursements, bonuses and incentives for tax-exempt organizations, and more.
Categories: Tax

Governance Update: Liability Risk for Boards Increasing

by Ken Urish 14. September 2011 13:20
In a plus for corporate governance advocates and a rare positive emerging from the current economic climate, the financial crisis appears to have driven home the need for boards to manage risk more effectively. This conclusion is based on the findings of a survey of board members of public companies with revenues ranging to $750M that was released this month by our alliance partner BDO. As the responsibility of boards has grown in recent years due to regulatory requirements, board risk management activities have been focused heavily on compliance. Now, facing increased risks as a result of the financial crisis, it appears that boards are more willing to take a proactive role in risk management. In the survey, when asked what topics they would like to spend more time on, a majority (55%) of board members at public companies cite risk management, more than any other area. Moreover, an even greater percentage (61%) believe their liability risk as a director has increased during the past few years. Interestingly, the study shows that the CEO position is considered by board members to be the most helpful position for assessing and managing risk (44%), with the CFO following at 33%. 
Categories: Assurance