PJ Neal

Thoughts from a more-than-occasional writer

  • Having the right management team, with the right skills and capabilities, is critical to the success of your organization. Your managers are on the front lines with your workforce, customers, competitors and your markets every single day, and their performance is directly tied to your organization’s near-term and long-term success. Today’s strong individual contributors –…

  • Today’s business world is fast-paced and complex. Opportunities emerge quickly (and disappear rapidly), new threats emerge continuously, and globalization opens up new markets that require intimate local knowledge. In this volatile and ever-changing environment, new managers matter. They’re on the front lines with your workforce, your customers, your competitors, and your markets. They have tremendous…

  • Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg is 30. Tech entrepreneur and investor Sean Parker is 35. With that in mind, how old is your next boss — or for that matter, your current boss? Baby boomers are retiring in droves, and Generation X isn’t far behind. Next up in the C­suite: the generation that gave us Zuckerberg…

  • New managers matter. They’re on the front lines with your workforce, your customers, your competitors, your markets. They have tremendous potential. And some of them will become your organization’s future executives. In tapping these employees for the managerial ranks, your organization is recognizing this. But while you’ll be relying on your new managers to take…

  • “They are unbound by human limitations. They can remain airborne for long durations, do not require life support systems, do not need to eat or sleep, and they will never say no to a mission.” It’s no wonder political and military leaders are increasingly resting their futures on unmanned systems. From the mature Unmanned Aerial…

  • The Southeast Audit Committee Network first spoke about enterprise risk in October 2005. Some things have changed: the primary source of contention is no longer, as VantagePoint noted then, “finding the best logical home for ERM efforts, be it the audit committee, the full board, or some other committee, such as governance or a special…

  • As directors are increasingly aware, over the past several weeks, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken initial steps that could begin the process of moving U.S. companies away from reporting financial information in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP) and toward the use of IFRS. On August 27, 2008,…

  • Dans le monde entier, de nombreuses sociétés subissent le contrecoup de la conjoncture économique actuelle et des conditions difficiles qui prévalent sur le marché du crédit, sans avoir su prédire les incidences s’y rattachant, incidences auxquelles elles étaient d’ailleurs fort mal préparées. «Bien des fausses rumeurs prétendent que les sociétés canadiennes ne sont pas touchées»,…

  • Because independent attestation of the effectiveness of internal controls can provide increased insight into a company, the perception of reduced personal liability, and the addition of a productive source of tension, members of the Canadian Audit Committee Network recommended it on a voluntary basis for Canadian companies that are not subject to mandatory attestation. The…

  • Companies around the world are being impacted by current economic and credit market conditions in ways they did not predict and for which they are largely unprepared. “We hear a lot of false stories about how we’re not affected because we’re Canadian,” one audit chair remarked, but members report the contrary. They are being challenged…

  • Given the increasing volatility in the financial markets and the staggering sums now sought by plaintiffs, audit committees must be more committed than ever to diligent oversight and planning for litigation risks to ensure the company’s future well-being. The audit committee has abundant internal and external resources available to it and must make sure it…

  • Members want an open, trusting relationship and a way to sustain that trust and candor over time. Accounting firms also want a good relationship, but want to be sure they can fulfill their statutory obligation to maintain independence. Audit committee chairs face a growing number of challenges in their relationship with the external auditor, but…

  • Les membres désirent établir une relation ouverte basée sur la confiance et trouver un moyen de cultiver cette confiance et cette franchise au fil du temps. Les cabinets d’experts-comptables veulent également développer de bonnes relations, tout en s’assurant qu’ils peuvent satisfaire à leurs obligations réglementaires en matière d’indépendance. Les relations avec le vérificateur externe posent…

  • As the economy enters into a period of potential slowdown, IT spending may not increase as much as it has in the past, but even so, technology market research consultancies predict growth in spending in the 4–6% range. The IT function is clearly of continuing importance. It brings with it many advantages – lower costs,…

  • During research for the November 2007 issue of InSights, it became clear that there is a high level of interest in the governance of sustainability on both sides of the Atlantic. Members of both networks are interested in what emerging best practice looks like on their own side of the ocean and on the other…

  • Charged with substantial compliance responsibility in recent years, most internal audit departments have deviated from their traditional role as the audit committee’s “eyes and ears.” However, internal audit is now beginning another transformation, evolving toward a more value-added role providing guidance to the audit committee and assistance to the business units. Consequently, the audit committee…

  • Ayant été chargée de lourdes responsabilités en matière de conformité au cours des dernières années, la fonction vérification interne de la plupart des entreprises s’est éloignée de son rôle traditionnel, en vertu duquel elle représentait en quelque sorte les yeux et les oreilles du comité de vérification. Or, cette fonction s’engage maintenant dans un nouveau…

  • A major transaction requires participation and hard work from all board members. While audit committee members have a special role to play in reviewing the financial implications of a deal and monitoring post-transaction performance, the burden of oversight must rest with the whole board. With the support of independent experts, and through proper monitoring before…

  • One member closed out our discussion by sharing the maxim “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.” Although navigating challenging situations is difficult, it can improve directors’ confidence in their ability to handle adversity and frequently leads to changes that improve future performance. Read the full paper, published by Tapestry Networks and…

  • En guise de conclusion à la réunion du RCCV, l’un des membres a rappelé la maxime suivante : «Le bon jugement découle de l’expérience, et l’expérience repose en bonne partie sur le mauvais jugement.» En dépit de la difficulté de composer avec des situations difficiles, celles-ci peuvent amener les administrateurs à avoir davantage confiance en…

  • For many firms, IT is increasingly becoming “the engine that drives the business,” but the new opportunities IT creates also bring with them new risks. Clear communication and strong relationships must exist to make sure that nothing is overlooked in IT governance efforts. Even though few directors consider themselves IT experts, they can draw on…

  • In a world in which “IT is pervasive,” companies are experiencing new opportunities and risks associated with information technology. Clear communication and strong relationships must exist to make sure that there is no governance overlap and that nothing is overlooked. Even though few directors consider themselves IT experts, they can draw on many sources of…

  • Dans un monde caractérisé par l’omniprésence des TI, les entreprises font face aux nouvelles possibilités et aux nouveaux risques qui en découlent. Des communications claires et des relations solides doivent prévaloir, de façon à favoriser l’élimination des chevauchements en matière de gouvernance et à faire en sorte qu’aucun aspect ne soit escamoté. Bien que peu…

  • Institutional shareholders are more actively seeking to influence corporate governance practices. While this could lead to greater conflict between shareholder and corporate interests, there is no reason to assume that confrontation is inevitable. Leading institutional shareholders have a clear interest in supporting and enhancing the financial strength of the corporations in which they invest, and…

  • «Il y a vingt ans, la gestion des risques ne consistait qu’à trouver un bon courtier d’assurance», a rappelé l’un des membres du RCCV. Les temps ont bien changé, et les processus organisationnels ont subi toute une transformation. Désormais, les entreprises doivent se doter d’une méthode de gestion des risques plus systématique et tenant compte…

  • One member noted that 20 years ago, “risk management was [nothing more than] getting a good insurance broker.” Times have changed, and organizational processes have changed too. Companies need to address risk in a more systematic manner, considering changes in risk as well as the interrelationships between risks. The audit committee chair can play a…

  • Since the passage of Bill 198 in Canada and Sarbanes-Oxley in the United States, it has become increasingly difficult and, some would say, ever more risky to serve on the audit committee of a public company. However, the audit committee has never been more important, making the commitment of the audit committee chair a crucial…

  • Depuis l’adoption du projet de loi 198, au Canada, et de la loi Sarbanes-Oxley, aux États-Unis, il est devenu de plus en plus difficile et – aux dires de certains – de plus en plus risqué d’exercer le rôle de membre du comité de vérification d’une société ouverte. Néanmoins, le comité de vérification est maintenant…

  • Compte tenu qu’une attestation indépendante de l’efficacité des contrôles internes permet de mieux juger de la situation d’une société, de donner l’impression que le niveau de responsabilité personnelle des membres de la direction et des administrateurs est abaissé ainsi que d’induire dans le processus un niveau de tension accru, de façon productive, les membres du…