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Control Chatter                                                   June 2020
News that Control Professionals Need to Know

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In This Issue
All New Internal Control online courses
The Cost of a Business Plan
Has the 'mother of all corporate risks' finally arrived?
Novartis to pay $336 mn in US settlements on bribes
The SEC is on an 'internal controls rampage'
SEC staff guidance
FSC tells investment firms to enhance internal control
Whistleblowing In A Global Pandemic
Ex CEO of Payment Provider Wirecard Arrested

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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 Planning: Feedback?
By Michael Pregmon, Jr., Ph.D., CICP
COO and Managing Director
Dr. Michael Pregmon, Jr.
COO and Managing Director 
In previous editions of this newsletter we briefly covered various sections that comprise a framework for a business plan. This can be used for planning in the internal control activity or even for a complete ongoing business operation. Here are the sections of a business plan that were considered. Each section is identified in the form of a question. The component questions are:
              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. Feedback loop
In this edition we will address the last section of a business plan.
The Feedback Loop
The last section is essentially the "report card" of the plan. It is the springboard for launching into next year's plan. In this section, we assess how we did throughout the year in accomplishing the goals/strategies we established in section 2. This analysis is typically completed at the end of the cycle (year) and before beginning the next cycle.
This section oftentimes creates one of the major frustrations of a business planner in that the plan never ends. From here, it continues to the next year's cycle. Nevertheless, some important things must be considered here before moving on to the next cycle.
Critical Assessment
Did we complete all goals/strategies identified in section 2 as expected and on time? You may recall in that section we addressed the issue of "goal stretch." This is the technique of pursuing objectives a bit beyond our "reach." Missing the target dates of these may be considered for inclusion in next year's cycle. But more importantly, did we satisfy and complete those critical goals identified for this period?
Missing some target goals or dates may not be tragic if these do not impact our operation. But, in each of these instances where we missed the target, we need to assess whether the objective needs to be refined and/or included in the next planning cycle.
When we complete this analysis of the year's accomplishments, we're ready to LOOP into next year's planning cycle.
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 :

Curitiba - 29 of June to 03 of July
Sao Paulo - 24 to 28 of August
Belo Horizonte - 21 to 25 September

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

Online CICS training and exams are being conducted due to COVID-19.  Current course runs from 13 June to 5 July 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 :

ICI Belgium has  started the CICS session in French with 22 participants.
Next sessions are planned in Brussels:
  • Dutch: October 2nd 2020
  • French : January 2021
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 Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Muscat, Sudan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Palestine. 

Training Plans: 

21 - 24 June 2020 - Cairo, Egypt
30 August - 3 September 2020 - Amman, Jordan
13 - 17 September 2020 - Muscat, Oman

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


For more information on activities being planned please contact:

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

The Internal Control Institute Of Zimbabwe will be running CICS Classes on the following dates:    
           27-30 October 2020
          8-11   December 2020

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.
Quiz: Are you ready to audit these areas of heightened risk?
By Carl R. Mayes Jr., CPA
June 24, 2020
Many audit clients with 2020 year ends will have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during the period under audit. Auditing these clients will present unique challenges and risks unlike what auditors have seen in prior years. Are you up to speed in these areas of heightened risk? 
Has the 'mother of all corporate risks' finally arrived?
By Richard L. Cassin
The market for directors and officers liability insurance has been out of kilter since the start of the year, with more demand than supply. Now, the D&O market is nearly frozen, and companies are scrambling to adequately insure those serving on their boards or as part of management.  Premiums for D&O coverage in the U.S. market have risen around 100 percent from this time last year and could go a lot higher. Even with the higher premiums, insurers are still trimming available coverage, sometimes by increasing deductibles and lowering caps on payouts.  The disruption of the D&O market has also resulted in some companies being unable to afford coverage; others are choosing to forgo it
Novartis to pay $336 mn in US settlements on bribes
June 26, 2020
Novartis agreed to pay around $336 million to settle US charges connected to bribery schemes aimed at increasing sales of its pharmaceutical products, US authorities announced Thursday.  Novartis Greece, a unit of the Swiss drug giant, admitted to financing travel of employees of state-owned hospitals to the US between 2012 and 2015 "as a means to bribe these officials," the Justice Department said. Novartis Greece also admitted that in 2009 and 2010 it funneled money to health care providers as part of an epidemiological study that was "used as a vehicle" for improper payments to increase sales of drugs, the agency said.
The SEC is on an 'internal controls rampage' when it comes to third-party relationships
Over the last two years, the Securities and Exchange Commission has set its sights on distributor and reseller relationships, and excoriated companies that failed to adequately manage and supervise them. The focus on these third-party relationships is part of the agency's broader application of the FCPA's internal controls provision in an increasingly aggressive manner. Indeed, I believe the SEC is on an internal controls rampage, using the provision to ratchet up the minimum compliance obligations that public companies must apply to their third parties.
SEC staff guidance addresses pandemic-related disclosures
By Ken Tysiac
June 23, 2020
Public companies need to carefully consider their obligations in disclosing the coronavirus pandemic's effect on their operations, liquidity, and capital resources, according to  staff guidance  issued Tuesday by the SEC Division of Corporation Finance.  The division is monitoring how companies are disclosing the effects and risks related to the pandemic on their businesses, financial condition, and operating results. The staff guidance has no legal force or effect, but it provides the views of the Division of Corporation Finance on pandemic-related issues.  The guidance encourages companies to provide disclosures that help investors evaluate the current and expected impact of the pandemic through the eyes of management. As facts and circumstances change, companies are advised to proactively revise and update disclosures.
FSC tells investment firms to enhance internal control
By Kao Shih-ching
June 25, 2020
The statement came after the commission last month asked companies to strengthen supervision of fund managers' use of personal communication devices at work. "Companies are expected to maintain better discipline as breaches by a few workers could jeopardize public trust in the asset management industry," Securities and Futures Bureau Chief Secretary Kuo Chia-chun told a news conference in New Taipei City. The commission would not make it mandatory for fund managers to hand in their mobile phones when entering trading rooms or offices, Kuo said. However, companies must set clear internal controls and conduct solid risk management, she said, adding that while most companies do not allow fund managers to use private devices at work, they fail to maintain effective internal control.
Whistleblowing In A Global Pandemic: Are You Ready?
June 16, 2020
In March 2020, in the context of a global pandemic leading to another economic recession, Tim Bray resigned his position as Vice President and Senior Engineer at Amazon because he believed Amazon retaliated against whistleblowers who spoke out during the pandemic and voiced safety concerns .
History has taught us that economic recessions not only unfortunately encourage fraud but also cause existing unethical conduct to come to light. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global economic crisis and whistleblowing is, as expected, already on the rise.
Ex CEO of Payment Provider Wirecard Arrested Over Missing $2 Billion
June 23, 2020
The former CEO of German payment service provider Wirecard has been arrested in an accounting scandal that centers on a missing sum of 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion), prosecutors in Munich said Tuesday.  Markus Braun resigned on Friday after the company disclosed that auditors couldn't find accounts containing the money. On Monday, Wirecard said it has concluded that the money probably doesn't exist.
Prosecutors said a court issued an arrest warrant shortly afterward and Braun turned himself in on Monday evening.  He is accused of inflating the company's balance sheet and revenue, "possibly in collaboration with further perpetrators," in order to "portray the company as financially stronger and more attractive for investors and clients," they said in a statement.
Control Quotes
You only have control over three things in your life - the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions your take."
Jack Canfield

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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.