Internal Controls

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Enforcement Week III: Johnson Controls FCPA Enforcement Action – Part 2

I continue my review of the Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action today by focusing on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Declination to Prosecute. Yesterday, I considered the...more

Johnson Controls Pays $14 Million for China FCPA Violations: DOJ Declines Prosecution

At first glance, the SEC’s recent enforcement action against Johnson Controls for $14 million for FCPA violations in China, along with a Justice Department declination under its new Pilot Program, appears to be a “routine”...more

Enforcement Week II: The Johnson Controls FCPA Enforcement Action – Part I

I continue my exploration of recent enforcement matters and issues by turning to the Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action, which was announced last week. Mike Volkov has called...more

The SEC’s Love Affair with Internal Controls

The SEC has been flexing its muscles lately. If you had some of the enforcement tools the SEC has, you would be doing the same. What am I referring to? The FCPA statute included broad provisions requiring companies to...more

Compliance, Cooperation Mitigates FCPA Liability with DOJ-SEC

Well designed compliance systems coupled with solid internal controls can be instrumental in preventing violations of the FCPA. Despite best of efforts, there is no doubt that even a well-constructed compliance system can be...more

US IPO Guide 2016 Edition

This is our initial public offering guide. It will help you decide whether an IPO is the right move for your company and, if so, help you make sure your IPO goes off as quickly and as smoothly as possible, without any...more

Disclosing bribery conduct not an easy decision for US companies

While the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC's ) recent announcement of two non-prosecution agreements (NPAs) with Akamai Technologies, Inc. (Akamai) and Nortek, Inc. (Nortek) in matters involving books and records...more

Recent Trends and Patterns in the Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) / FCPA Digest

Shearman & Sterling’s bi-annual Trends & Patterns report provides insightful analysis of recent enforcement trends and patterns in the US, the UK, and elsewhere as well as helpful guidance on emerging best practices in FCPA...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 6.30.16

US banks made a strong showing in part 2 of the latest round of the Fed’s stress tests. Only Morgan Stanley didn’t pass unconditionally (concerns over the company’s “internal controls and processes” tripped it up), while the...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

Merrill Lynch was at the center of actions brought by the SEC and FINRA this week. One action charged the firm with violations of the customer protection rule tied to using customer cash and failing to protect their...more

Compliance Training, Part I

In a recent Slate article, entitled “Ethics Trainings Are Even Dumber Than You Think”, author L.V. Anderson railed against what she termed box-checking training where companies put on training not to actually train employees...more

FCA Enforcement Action Overview

Reed Smith’s Enforcement Action by the FCA 2016 is a useful overview of enforcement action taken by the FCA in 2016. Enforcement action is important in terms of showing where the focus of the regulator is in terms of...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

Insider trading was a key focus this week. Two actions were brought based on information secured from the FDA and CMS by former employees who were employed by and investment adviser. Another case centered on tips by a...more

Defining “Effective” Ethics and Compliance Programs

The compliance profession faces many challenges. Some are more important than others. When it comes to evaluating performance, or measuring compliance programs, the profession has a steep uphill climb....more

Hong Kong Securities Laws Violations: SFC’s Case Against Moody’s – Part 2

On March 31, 2016, the Securities and Futures Appeals Tribunal (“SFAT”) upheld the disciplinary action of the SFC against Moody’s. This landmark decision is the first of its kind, as a disciplinary action brought by the...more

A Rush to Compliance: Patience is a Virtue

Compliance officers are, by definition, goal driven. They are high achievers and expect to succeed. So what. You may say – we all know that. Compliance officers are not the most patient group of people. They want to see...more

The SEC’s Return to Accounting Fraud Enforcement

Just like the ups and downs of the business cycle, SEC enforcement of accounting fraud cases follow an up and down trend as well. For example, during the financial crisis, SEC enforcement of accounting fraud cases took a back...more

Exceptional Plan Governance: Beat Back the Coming Litigation Onslaught

It was bound to happen. For several years, the plaintiffs’ bar has sued fiduciaries of large 401(k) plans asserting breach of their duties under ERISA by failing to exercise requisite prudence in permitting excessive...more

Tribute to Ali – The Greatest

The Greatest died this past Friday. There is only one man in my lifetime who earned that sobriquet and it was Muhammad Ali. Ali was the greatest sportsman in my lifetime and in 1999, he was named by the editors of Sports...more

A COSO Look at Control Objectives

Brian Christensen, in an article in Corporate Compliance Insights (CCI) entitled “The Updated COSO Framework: Time for a Fresh Look at Internal Control”, said that the updated 2013 COSO Framework retained the core definition...more

SEC continues to focus on internal control failures

The SEC has settled charges against Texas-based oil company Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation (MHR) and several individuals. The list of individuals implicated in this proceeding includes MHR’s Chief Financial Officer,...more

Blog: House Passes Bill For Five-Year Extension Of JOBS Act Exemption From Auditor Attestation Requirement

On Monday, the House passed the Fostering Innovation Act of 2015, notwithstanding this letter to Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi from the SEC’s Investor Advocate urging a vote against it. The bill, which presumably now moves to...more

Corruption Risks and Corporate Social Responsibility Spending

Global companies have been embracing socially responsible spending projects to build stronger relationships with local communities. The idea makes a lot of sense and real projects can result in real benefits....more

Joe Howell on the PCAOB, Audits and Compliance – Part IV

This week I have been exploring the Public Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) with Joe Howell, an Executive Vice President (EVP) with Workiva Inc. We have considered how some of the issues addressed by the PCAOB directly...more

Theranos, the SEC’s Pursuit of Unicorns, and Taking the Reins of Internal Controls

In the wake of a host of negative developments, Theranos Inc. is reportedly under investigation by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC and DOJ inquiries are likely to focus on...more

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