Canada's CAs helping not-for-profit directors manage pandemic risks

TORONTO, Nov. 4 /CNW/ - A new publication by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) designed to help not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) prepare for pandemics is timely with the H1N1 influenza grabbing headlines across the country.

The Not-for-Profit Director Alert, titled "Pandemic Preparation and Response - Questions for Directors to Ask", provides some key questions that directors can ask to help anticipate and respond to risks and crises. The H1N1 influenza is used to illustrate how an organization can identify, assess and plan for a risk and what to do if things escalate into a real crisis.

"The threat of an H1N1 pandemic is a powerful reminder of the need for risk management and crisis planning," said Hugh Lindsay, author of the publication. "A variety of risks can threaten the smooth operation and even the very survival of many not-for-profit organizations. Many organizations operate with limited staff and resources which makes it crucial that they are prepared for potential impacts."

The responsibilities of directors of NPOs include the oversight of risk and crisis management.

The questions raised in the CICA publication are presented in three sections: Risk Management, Business Continuity Planning and Crisis Response.

"The H1N1 threat poses a significant challenge for not-for-profit organizations but, unlike many crises, there has been advance warning," said Lindsay. "NPO boards may find it helpful to let the questions raised in the Director Alert stimulate discussions focusing on preparation and response."

The Director Alert draws on two other CICA publications that address the topics of risk and crisis management in greater detail: "20 Questions Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations Should Ask About Risk" and "20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Crisis Management".

The Director Alert is being issued by the CICA's Risk Management and Governance Board and can be downloaded (www.rmgb.ca).

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), together with the provincial, territorial and Bermuda Institutes/Ordre of Chartered Accountants, represents a membership of approximately 75,000 CAs and 12,000 students in Canada and Bermuda. The CICA conducts research into current business issues and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for business, not-for-profit organizations and government. It issues guidance on control and governance, publishes professional literature, develops continuing education programs and represents the CA profession nationally and internationally. CICA is a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA).

SOURCE Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview, contact: Tobin Lambie, Manager, Media, CICA, (416) 204-3228, tobin.lambie@cica.ca, www.cica.ca

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