Europe’s new data law upends global online advertising

Europe’s new data privacy law has put a small army of tech firms that track people online in jeopardy and is strengthening the hand of giants such as Google and Facebook in the $200 billion global digital advertising industry.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR here) brought in by the European Union in May is designed to protect personal information in the age of the internet and requires websites to seek consent to use personal data, among other measures.

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Enforcement actions against accountants declined last year

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board finalized slightly fewer enforcement actions against accountants in 2017, slipping from 79 in 2016 to 75 last year, according to a new report.

The report, from Cornerstone Research, found that while the number of finalized SEC actions declined, they actually increased from the PCAOB. The number of finalized SEC actions against auditors and audit firms in 2017 was only half the total in 2016, but PCAOB enforcement rose to its highest level with more actions taken against auditors and audit firms of brokers and dealers.

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What Boards Need to Know About Cyber Risk Insurance

Cyber risk insurance is becoming an increasingly important aspect of a company’s cybersecurity posture. Just as an incident response plan can mitigate the potential negative effects on company reputation and customer relationships, cyber risk insurance can offer financial protection for a vast range of hard costs that today’s companies may incur in the event of a cyber breach.

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5 First Steps for Adopting Machine Learning in Finance Organizations

For any executive who pursued a traditional path into the finance organization—business school, perhaps an accounting degree or an MBA in finance—the incessant media chatter about how machine learning will transform your business must be a little disconcerting. Most finance executives have little to no experience with the subject. And while many now have an idea of what machine learning is, few have a concrete understanding of how or where they can implement it.

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Cybersecurity Breaches Every Lawyer Should Consider

In 2018, the SEC issued new guidance on cybersecurity disclosures and policies, in response to the 65% of companies that were not disclosing breaches.

What does this mean for lawyers and the legal field?

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Auditor Attestation—What are the Real Costs?

Recently, in connection with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s consideration of proposed amendments to the definition of “smaller reporting company,” the Commission had an opportunity to consider including in the adopting release an exemption from the Section 404(b) auditor attestation.

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Instilling a Compliance Culture: Three Aspects of Board Oversight

If you asked corporate directors to rank their favorite board duties, overseeing compliance likely isn’t at the top of the list. Regardless, compliance is central to a board member’s fiduciary duties–and as we’ve seen many times before, failure to oversee compliance effectively can have costly implications for a company.

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6 Risk Management Methods to Reduce the Inherent Risk of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is here to stay and executives must be smart about the risks posed and manage accordingly.

This article looks at 6 risk management methods in which the high inherent risks of cryptocurrency can be reduced and thus install more confidence and trust in the currency transactions. The methods are wide ranging and, if applied in total, could confirm the acceptance and spread of cryptocurrency, a currency for the 21st century.

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IAASB proposes audit risk assessment standards revision

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has moved to update its standard on audit risk assessments, to take into account developments arising from IT.

In an exposure draft for the proposed International Standard of Auditing 315 (revised) (ISA-315), the IAASB said that as IT has become the medium through which a significant amount of audit evidence is obtained, it has become increasingly important for auditors to understand an entity’s IT system, including how the integrity of the information is maintained.

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5 Inherent Risks of Cryptocurrency

Understand the risks associated with cryptocurrency, both from a currency and a business perspective.

A defining feature of a cryptocurrency, is that is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation. In order to understand the risks of cryptocurrency, one must first understand the features of the platform (Blockchain) on which the cryptocurrency is based. Blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.

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