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Control Chatter                                                   January 2020
News that Control Professionals Need to Know

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In This Issue
All New Internal Control online courses
Business Planning - Where Are We?.
Affiliate News..
Reeling in a big phish.
COSO Anti-Fraud Advisory Group to Issue Blockchain Guidance
Whistleblower protections for accountants and tax professionals bolstered by new law
A 'Twist' On Top Ten Governance Trends For 2020
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg's departure adds to a record year of upheaval among corporate leaders.
Key Board Takeaways From This Year's NACD's Public Company Survey
Resignations by independent directors double in 2019 as risks grow
RBI to issue guidelines on corporate governance
Corporate events that grabbed the headlines in 2019

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The Internal Control Institute™ (ICI) improves organizational Internal Control worldwide by providing training, products and services and individual Professional Certifications recognized internationally. The Institute's Board of Advisors has determined it would like to further expand into areas where it is not directly represented. ICI provides world-class programs and its intellectual property to affiliates free of charge and shares all program revenue with them. If your organization is interested in partnering with ICI to earn revenue while you contribute to the development of the internal control profession worldwide please contact Dr. Michael Pregmon, Jr., Chief Operations Officer, by email at:  or by phone at  727-538-4113   in the USA. 
Test your Knowledge of Internal Control
The Internal Control Institute has developed a CICS Common Body of Knowledge Mini-Assessment that helps an individual determine their knowledge as it relates to governance and control practices. Results point out areas of knowledge that may require additional training and experience. The assessment also provides a measurement to the individual's readiness for CICS certification. The assessment measures core knowledge in eight critical areas including: Internal Control - Principles, Terms and Concepts, Internal Control Environment, Risk Management, Assessing Application Controls, Business System Control Assessment, Risk Assessment, Internal Control Measurement and Reporting, and Governance Practices
 Internal Control online courses
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Start becoming an Internal Control professional today!
The ICI "Certification Series" has been completely updated and is available online to everyone around the world!  Course content prepares individuals to design and/or assess internal control and to assist management in installing internal control processes. In addition, the series prepares candidates for the Certified Internal Control Specialist (CICS) Examination.
To review the course catalog click here: ICI Course Catalog
To register for one or all of the online training programs click here:  
Online course pricing has been reduced by over 70% 
Business Strategy - How Do We Get There?
By Michael Pregmon, Jr., Ph.D., CICP
COO and Managing Director
Dr. Michael Pregmon, Jr.
COO and Managing Director 
  We have been presenting a business planning process in previous editions of this newsletter. We previously touched upon the first two sections of the complete process. To recap the seven sections required, these are answering the questions:

            1. Where are we?
            2. Where do we want to go?
            3. How are we going to get there?
            4. Who is responsible?
            5. How much will it cost?
            6. When will it be done?
            7. Completing the feedback loop
  In this brief article we will address the third section. This section essentially identifies the strategies the organization/activity will implement to accomplish our planned goals or eliminate challenges. We previously identified these in section 2.
Each action item identified in section 2 must be individually addressed and analyzed. The brainstorming technique can often be used effectively here. A plan of action (strategy) should be devised to eliminate the challenge. Usually each of these challenges are new innovative initiatives, problems, visions, and/or competitive issues.
It is not uncommon for some action items identified in section 2 to be related or intermingled unintentionally which makes implementation difficult.
For this planning process, specific strategies should be devised and implemented to address each goal, problem, competitive issue, etc. identified in section 2.
The strategy for each action item must be specific and uniquely devised for the particular "issue" identified. Planners oftentimes use "catch all" strategies that are unrealistic in the "real world."  This typically results in attempts to simplify a strategy or to reduce the cost of implementation.
Ensure that the strategies devised for accomplishing a goal do not conflict with a strategy for another challenge.
REMEMBER - Each individual plan goal/target should have its own individual strategy for effective implementation.
ICI Affiliate News :

The Internal Control Institute is conducting certification training in a classroom format for the internationally recognized CICS (Certified Internal Control Specialist) certification in internal control. Information on these programs regarding dates and schedules can be found on the Events tab on our Website or directed to the affiliate named below:

ICI has entered into an agreement with Internal Control Institute of Botswana (ICI Botswana":) as its representative for Products, Services and Internal Control Certifications (CICS/CICP) in this territory. ICI Botswana will be responsible for all development activities in this area, including professional training and Certification.  Individuals or companies interested in internal control training or Certification should contact:
Contact: Humphrey Chawafambira

Training Plans :

Rio de Janeiro - 10 to 14 of February
São Paulo - 09 to 13 of March
Brasília - 25 to 29 of May
Porto Alegre - 15 to 19 of June
Curitiba - 29 of June to 03 of July

For more details on planned training please on the website below, or send a message to Mr. Eduardo Person PardiniEmail:


The next Hangzhou CICS training course has been postponed to January, 2020.
The next CICS training course in Beijing will be held from 26 to 29 March 2020.

Individuals or companies interested in inter nal control training and Certification should contact:  
Mr. Qiu Jianting
Room 1039, Block A, Jinmao Building, No. 18, 
Xizhimenwai Street,
Xicheng District, Beijing, China
Zip Code: 100044
Mobile phone: 13810588109


Training Plans :

CICS Training in Dutch in Brussels with 13 participants will take place in seven sessions over the period 4 October 2019 to 10 January 2020. ICIB  has  already received 9 registrations for the session in French starting mid January.

For more information on scheduled training and exams please contact Mr.Yves Dupont of ICI Belgium at: 
For more information on upcoming activities in this area please contact Mr. Summit Goyal of  ICI India at :
Phone: +91 9810575613

Myanmar and Cambodia:
Better Business Governance - APAC PTE LTD (BBG) has become a representative for Products, Services and Internal Control Certifications (CICS/CICP) in Myanmar and Cambodia.  Better Business Governance will be responsible for all development activities, including professional training and Certification.  For more information on upcoming activities in this area please contact:
Better Business Governance
Mr. Sanjeev Gathani
1 Claymore Drive
#08-14, Orchard Towers (Rear Block)
Singapore 229594
For more information on upcoming activities in this area please contact the following:
Antonio Salas Hernandez CICP,  Email: 
Joaquin Prendes Herrera, Email: 

Middle East:
The CICS exam is now being  provided in Arabic.  Osool Training and Consulting has courses and testing available in Jordan, Libya, Muscat, Sudan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Palestine. 

Training Plans: 

23 - 27 February 2020 - Tunisia
1 - 5 March 2020 - Muscat, Oman
15 - 19 March 2020 - Amman, Jordan
22 - 26 March 2020 - Kuwait
5 - 9 April 2020 - Cairo, Egypt

Interested applicants in the region should contact Osool for scheduling for future programs.  For additional information on scheduled ICI Certification and program sessions, please contact:
Lina Salameh
Assistant General Manager
O SOOL for Training & Consulting
Mob Oman:  +968 95 98 98 20
Mob Jordan: +962 7 99589666
Tel:   +962 6 5927171 Ext. 107
Fax:  +962 6 5927172

Leadway Consulting conducts CICS training sessions and examinations in Nigeria. For more information on upcoming activities in Nigeria  please contact:
Mr.  Joel Aluko


For more information on activities in Pakistan individuals or companies should contact : Muhammad Farooq Hammodi


ICI Romania is planning a CICS course session on October 5 - 7, 2020 and an examination on November 9, 2020.

For more information on activities in Romania contact : Cosmin Serbanescu at the National Institute for Internal Control in Romania.
Tel:  + 40 752 525 525


Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan China:
ICI has entered into an agreement with GRC Consultancy Pte Ltd. (ICI Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan) as its representative for Products, Services and Internal Control Certifications (CICS/CICP) in those territories.  

Individuals or companies interested in internal control training or Certification should contact:
General enquiries for all 4 markets -
Singapore - Mr. Bob Seetoh -
MalaysiaMr. Melvin
IndonesiaMr. Melvin Beh -
Taiwan China - Mr. Bob Seetoh -


ICI has entered into an agreement with  Business and Financial Consulting  company in  the Republic of Tunisia  (hereinafter referred to as "ICI BFC"  as its representative for Products, Services and Internal Control Certifications (CICS/CICP) in the Republic of Tunisia ICI BFC will be responsible for all development activities in this area, including professional training and Certification.  Individuals or companies interested in internal control training or Certification should contact:
Contact: Nadia Yaich


Training Plans :  CICS Certification preparation training to be held in Istanbul from 
9 to 10 March 2020

Ms. Ilknur Tunc,  VP -
Dr. Bertan Kaya -
GOP Mahallesi, İran Caddesi, Karum İs Merkezi
No:21, D Blok, 4. Kat, D:398-399

+90 (312) 4425015 T
+90 (533) 4474444 D
Training Plan:
Course name
start day
4 days
On Saturday and Sunday
am - 12:00 am
pm - 17:00 pm

For more information on upcoming activities in Vietnam please contact: NGUYEN THANH TUNG (MBA. M.Eng, PhD.) Director, FMIT Institute of Financial Management & Information Technology,  Level 5 , 126 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC, Viet Nam
Office: 848 3803 5020 - 848 3512 9371 - 848 3512 7652

For more information on activities being planned please contact:
Dr. Proctor Nyemba at:

Internal Control Chatter  
Each month the staff of The Internal Control Institute reviews hundreds of articles related to Internal Control and Corporate Governance. Here are brief summaries of some of the top articles (along with links to the original article) that may be of interest to you.
Reeling in a big phish
As the old saying goes, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." The same could be said for preventing phishing attacks. Put an antivirus program on someone's computer and it might keep their computer protected until it's outdated. Teach someone what warning signs to look for, and they will be less likely to be the latest victim of a phishing attack during their tenure at the company.
Cyberattacks typically begin with a phishing email. In fact,  studies have shown that 92 percent of malware is delivered by email and the average user receives 16 phishing emails per month.  It's not just individual employees who are at risk either. Businesses are often the target for these emails.  Ninety five percent  of attacks on business networks result from successful spear phishing - super targeted attacks aimed at deceiving a specific person. Many companies are leaving an opening for this to occur as well. According to Check Point Research's  2018 Report on Information Security , 97 percent of organizations are using outdated cybersecurity technologies.
COSO Anti-Fraud Advisory Group to Issue Blockchain Guidance in 2020
Dec 30, 2019

The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission COSO) has confirmed plans to issue guidance for use of blockchain technology early next year, the Wall Street Journal  reports. The guidance will reportedly target leaders in the financial services industry and other sectors and companies where blockchain technology is being utilized.
According to the Journal, the guidance will be designed to help companies using the technology improve oversight of their blockchain projects. COSO chairperson Paul Sobel told WSJ: "I want to make sure that we've got that properly controlled because it is a very different view of the world when you have distributed ledgers. It isn't something that is contained in your own system."
Read the Article
Whistleblower protections for accountants and tax professionals bolstered by new law
By Jason Zuckerman and Matthew Stock
January 15, 2020
During tax season, a tax professional can be placed in the difficult position of trying to stop tax fraud after uncovering their employer or client committing fraud.  In a healthy workplace culture, dissent is tolerated and indeed encouraged. But where an accountant, tax professional or tax attorney suffers retaliation for raising concerns about tax fraud or violations of IRS regulations, does the worker have a remedy? And does a whistleblower reporting fraud to the IRS Whistleblower Office have any recourse if they suffer retaliation? Until recently, there was no federal law protecting whistleblowing about tax fraud and scant protection at the state level. In 2019, however, Congress enacted a robust law protecting tax whistleblowers. This article summarizes the whistleblower protection provision of the Taxpayer First Act.
A 'Twist' On Top Ten Governance Trends For 2020
By Michael Peregrine
Jan 2, 2020
A twist, but hopefully not twisted . . . a slightly different take on developments likely to impact corporate governance in 2020. A list that doesn't mention shareholder activism, cybersecurity, climate risks, nor SEC regulation. What follows are perspectives offered from a slightly higher altitude but still within sight of the tarmac. Directors will be expected to confront the tactical and strategic implications to their company of any potential political, social, economic or regulatory volatility. Such uncertainty will be driven in part by the impeachment process, divided government and the 2020 elections, Other drivers may include questions concerning economic growth, trade conflict, income inequality, inflation and, more generally, continued societal fragmentation. To address these challenges will require directors to exercise more engagement, heightened attentiveness and close interaction with management.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg's departure adds to a record year of upheaval among corporate leaders

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg is the latest casualty in a string of chief executive exits this year.  Through November, 1,480 CEOs left their companies  in 2019, according to business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That's the highest number on record for the first 11 months of a year.  December has brought other high-profile resignations including the chief executives of  United Airlines Alphabet Expedia , SoulCycle and Away, which would make 2019 the highest year on record for executive departures.
Read the Article
Key Board Takeaways From This Year's NACD's Public Company Survey

The National Association of Corporate Directors' ("NACD") annual Public Company Governance Survey (the "Survey") is an important resource for corporate boards and their primary committees.  The 2019-2020 version of the Survey offers timely information on key governance practices and attributes. To be sure, at year end boards are typically flooded with well-prepared reports from a variety of estimable sources. Yet through the breadth of its data and its related analysis, the NACD Survey stands out as a particularly valuable briefing tool. This, not only for public company boards, but also for those of large private and nonprofit companies.
See Article for key takeaways from the survey
Resignations by independent directors double in 2019 as risks grow
By Rica Bhattcharyya
Dec 26, 2019
MUMBAI: The number of independent directors who resigned from board positions doubled in 2019, compared with total exits in the previous two years, as greater liability, rising number of corporate governance cases, increasing fear of fraud risk and chances of personal reputation being at stake led to the exodus. A record 1,393 independent director posts were vacated this year, compared with 767 in 2018 and 717 in 2017, according to data from market tracker, run by Prime.  Over 550 directors exited citing unspecified "pre-occupation," personal reasons or without citing any reason.  Other reasons for exit included change in management, conflict of interest, and investigation by regulatory bodies. Close to 120 board members said they are "not interested in reappointment." 
RBI to issue guidelines on corporate governance
By FE Bureau 
December 26, 2019 
The growing size and complexity of the Indian financial system underscores the significance of strengthening corporate governance standards in regulated entities, RBI said in its report.  The central bank had earlier found major irregularities in PMC Bank, including major financial violations, failure of internal controls and systems, and wrongdoing and under-reporting of its lending exposure. Taking cues from the incidence of corporate governance lapses in the year, the Reserve Bank of India ( RBI ) is in the process of issuing draft guidelines on corporate governance for regulated entities. The banking regulator cautioned in a report on trend and progress that recent governance failures in some financial entities have brought to the fore the impact of the quality of corporate governance on efficiency in allocation of resources as well as on financial stability.
Corporate events that grabbed the headlines in 2019
27 DEC 2019 
PETALING JAYA MALAYSIA: There has been no shortage of corporate news over the course of 2019. From failed mergers to lawsuits, here is a look at some of the most notable happenings that were reported during the year.
Read the Article
Control Quotes
Laws control the lesser man... Right conduct controls the greater one.
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ici logo The Internal Control Institute™ (ICI) is a worldwide organization  devoted exclusively to internal control and corporate governance. The Institute is dedicated to the development of world-class educational programs and best practice guidelines on internal control and corporate governance, based on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the COSO internal control framework.  Visit us on the web at the Internal Control Institute
Control Chatter is a monthly news summary of the top stories concerning internal control and corporate governance.  Control Chatter is prepared by the staff of Internal Control Institute for the benefit of their members and associates. Please consider it for your personal use or pass it on to associates who may have an interest in one or more of the topics by clicking on the Forward email button below.