From new ESG regulations to a crackdown on bribery, rapid fluctuations in crypto currency, changes to the regulated sector and the ongoing conflict in Europe demanding a laser-like focus on the supply chain, 2023 looks set to demand even more from compliance professionals.

We have created an in-depth guide to everything compliance in 2023. The guide covers the top ten items you can expect to see in your regulatory inbox, with tips on next steps.

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Findings from the SRA’s recent thematic review included the insight that firms need to have stronger evidence that supervision is taking place. Out of 76 files reviewed by the SRA, only 29 of them showed evidence of supervision taking place. Therefore, in their new guidance, the SRA has included a section on effective supervision that is applicable to all solicitors and firms that supervise individuals delivering legal services, including services that are provided by fee earners who are not directly regulated by the SRA.

The new guidance also stresses that merely having supervision in place is not sufficient to fulfil firms’ regulatory obligations; rather, supervision needs to be effective. Therefore, firms should take proactive steps to ensure that supervision is effective and that supervisors are being held accountable.

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Modern Slavery Freedom

Modern countries are fighting forced labour and human trafficking with legislation that makes it harder to use forced labour in their supply chains and profit from it. Modern slavery acts in the United Kingdom, United States, and other countries around the world are requiring large companies to disclose information regarding their efforts to eradicate human trafficking and slavery within their supply chains. The legislation also requires companies to take concrete steps to combat modern slavery when it is discovered. The US has recently introduced the Slave-Free Business Certification Bill 2022.

Slave-Free Business Certification Bill of 2022: What is it?

With this recent bill, the US is joining the growing list of countries requiring businesses to examine more extensively possible problems with modern slavery in their supply chains. If passed, the bill will require large companies to undergo mandatory audits that will identify if they are or are not using forced labour within their supply chains.

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What is ESG?

The acronym stands for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance, and refers to three central factors in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of a company or business. 

Global businesses are no longer working on environmental, social and governance issues in a silo. They are bringing them together under the banner of ESG to demonstrate the positive impact their existence is having on the world.

The webinar

VinciWorks recently held an on-demand webinar covering everything ESG: a new, more holistic approach to corporate accountability.

In this webinar, our experts explored the future of corporate accountability rules, and how to stay on top in the changing world of corporate compliance.

The webinar covered:

  • New ESG regulations in the UK, US and EU
  • How to undertake an internal ESG audit
  • Preparing for ESG reporting and regulatory disclosures
  • What VinciWorks can do to help with ESG compliance
  • Your questions on ESG reporting and compliance
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Getting third-party risk management right is critical for businesses. Join VinciWorks and CoreStream for a special webinar on ensuring effective procedures for extended enterprise management. We’ll dive into how to identify and mitigate risks through effective and efficient processes and what to consider when implementing risk-based third-party due diligence.

The webinar covered:

  • What do third-party risk management and vendor risk management cover?
  • How deep down the supply chain should risk management go?
  • What kind of risk factors should be considered?
  • What data should be collected from third parties?
  • Answering attendee questions

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The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held its latest plenary at the end of October 2022 and updated the list of jurisdictions under increased monitoring for money laundering and terrorist financing concerns. Jurisdictions on this list are working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in their regimes with regard to countering money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing. These countries have committed to work to resolve the deficiencies within the agreed timeframes. The FATF does not require enhanced due diligence measures to be applied to these jurisdictions and does not wish to cut off entire classes of customers, but calls for the application of a risk-based approach for businesses working with these jurisdictions.

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Jenga tower to show effect of awkward risks on a business
Without embracing some level of risk, companies actually put themselves at greater risk of failure.

Risk-taking is key to any company’s success. A recent survey found that companies that understood and embraced the risks of the COVID-19 crisis early on fared much better than those that refused to acknowledge the new reality and continued with their pre-COVID plans. Differences in how they perceived risk had dramatic effects on how they coped with change. 

For many companies, taking risks is synonymous with innovating and responding to change. Without embracing some level of risk, companies actually put themselves at greater risk of failure. The challenge is understanding which risks are worth taking, and how to mitigate those which are unavoidable.

This is why it’s so important to have a risk management system in place. Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to a business. Potential risks facing a company could include, for example, security breaches, internal problems with employees or operating systems, market or regulatory changes, natural disasters, and much more. A good risk management system will consider a wide variety of possible scenarios and prioritise the ones most likely to actually happen. It will also take into account a holistic vision of the company and its goals. Then, it can devise strategies to avoid or minimise the potential risks.

VinciWorks’ new Introduction to Risk Management course explores some of the basic tools that most risk managers use, including designing a risk matrix and composing a risk register. These will help you understand the types of considerations that they use to make decisions and to ensure that a business is prepared for future scenarios.

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Now that the ISQM 1 Standard has been approved, accounting firms need to begin deciding what they need to do to comply with the new quality management standards. While they only go into force in December 2022, preparation will require input from multiple departments and firms are already thinking about the systems they need to implement. 

What is ISQM 1?

ISQM 1 is the new standard that deals with quality management at a firm level. It replaces the ISQC1 which was focused on quality control. A quality management system is necessary to create an environment that enables and supports engagement teams in performing quality engagements. It applies to all firms that perform audits or reviews of financial statements, or other assurance or related services engagement.

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Code of Conduct: The Challenge

A strong code of conduct is vital for employees to know what is expected of them. A successful code of conduct that is followed by all employees, from leadership to management to each and every worker is an important part of building an ethical, inclusive culture at work.

But an organisation seeking to formulate a successful code of conduct or update an outdated one may quickly run into difficulties. Off-the-shelf training rarely encapsulates the nuances of each individual organisation’s policies and procedures, and write-your-own solutions are cumbersome and time-consuming.

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What’s changing in the world of mandatory corporate compliance?

The EU’s proposed new corporate due diligence and corporate accountability directive will cover companies that sell to the EU, not just those based there. Businesses will be required to identify, address and remedy their impact on human rights and the environment. Crucially, this is likely to go up and down the value chain, which means customers as well as suppliers. Businesses could be sued inside the EU for human rights violations or environmental damage committed by their customers or end-users of their products in third countries. 

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