The governance landscape has been irrevocably changed. Over the past few years, reforms in the regulatory environment (the Canadian Securities Administrators' new reporting and certification rules, and Sarbanes-Oxley) have set a high standard for public companies to fulfill. More than ever before, the onus is on companies and their executives — particularly CEOs and CFOs — to ensure that their financial reporting is transparent and accountable.
What does this mean to your company? You must implement a long-term strategy to establish and evaluate internal control over your financial reporting. It is not enough to merely sign off on the “what” of your financials. Soon you will have to certify the “how” — that you have effective internal controls that attest to the transparency and accountability of your numbers.