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ACL ACHIEVES RECORD GROWTH IN FISCAL YEAR 2014

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ACL ACHIEVES RECORD GROWTH IN FISCAL YEAR 2014 3

GRC Software Industry Leader Reports Highlights of Successful Financial Year

ACL, the company that is transforming audit and risk management, reported record growth benchmarks, expanded regional sales coverage, furthered its position as leader for cloud-based audit and risk management, and released major upgrades to its suite of software solutions during the company’s fiscal year ending July 31, 2014.

During FY2014, ACL achieved the largest booked revenues in the company’s history. This included triple-digit growth in its cloud-based ACL™ GRC software business for the second year in a row, following the largest ACL GRC quarter on record in Q4 of FY2013.

ACL ACHIEVES RECORD GROWTH IN FISCAL YEAR 2014 4Worldwide customer adoption of ACL GRC continued to earn strong market traction, including newly-added customer organizations across 25 countries: Alsco, Advanced Disposal, Arizona State University, ARS Humano, Aurora Health Care, Conair Corporation, Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, Energy Development Corporation, Glentel, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Northern Arizona University, Promens, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Riverside Health System, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and Tennessee Department of Transportation.

These milestones were jumpstarted with ACL’s acquisition of Singapore-based The Prodigy Group, a leading GRC solutions provider in the South East Asia region, which closed in August 2013, at the start of the fiscal year.

“Acquiring The Prodigy Group was an exciting milestone for the company and a strategic move into a rapidly-growing region,” said Ross Paul, Vice President of Global Operations at ACL. “That transaction really set in motion the year that followed.”

Other operational business highlights included:

  • Garnering an industry-leading 44% customer Net Promoter Score, significantly surpassing GRC competitors’ average of -50%, indicating very unsatisfied customers for legacy category leaders.
  • Inclusion on Gartner’s 2014 GRC Hype Cycle as a key vendor in eGRC Platforms and Transaction Controls Monitoring categories.
  • Being highlighted with five awards and honourable mentions for ACL GRC, including two 2014 GRC Technology Innovation Awards by GRC 20/20 Research, LLC for: Integrating automated GRC monitoring with proactive surveys and questionnaires and Most complete, intuitive mobile interface for end-to-end audit management.
  • Increasing attendance at annual customer conference, ACL Connections, by 30%—now one of the largest conferences in the category.
  • Being recognized as a top employer in the province of British Columbia and successfully recruiting more than 80 new employees, including key leadership positions, joining from companies like SAP, EMC, Thomson Reuters, and Sophos.
  • Forging a new partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to support the adoption of technology across 180 ICAI educational centers throughout India.
  • Forging an enhanced principal partnership with The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and new partnership with the Open Compliance and Ethics Group (OCEG).

Product portfolio highlights included:

  • Enhancements to ACL GRC, a cloud-based risk and audit management solution offering reporting, dashboarding, and metrics for executives, audit committees, and other stakeholders.

o   ACL GRC was made available in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German.

o   Customers can now choose to have the software hosted in any of four data centers across North America, the European Union, or Asia, ensuring improved global customer experience and addressing data privacy requirements.

  • Expanded ACL GRC mobile capabilities with ACL™ GRC for iOS, a native app for iPad and iPhone, and ACL™ GRC for Android.
  • Upgrades to flagship data analytics software, ACL™ Analytics, providing users more efficiency and agility through enhanced importing and exporting capabilities, as well as new analytic reporting tools.
  • A major update to ACL™ Direct Link for SAP® ERP and SAP® CRM, an SAP-certified data extraction add-on for ACL Analytics and ACL Analytics Exchange that solves SAP® data access challenges.
  • Launching a free download of ACL™ Add-In for Excel®, a tool that increases usability and productivity for professionals performing audit, risk, and control work in Excel.

“Fiscal year 2014 was a key foundational year for ACL as we made major investments in product development, sales, regional expansion, and securing top talent,” said Laurie Shultz, President and CEO of ACL. “We believe that the GRC software market is at a pivotal point in its history and see a huge opportunity for ACL to disrupt the category and enable our customers to elevate the value they bring to their organizations.”

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Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says

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Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says 5

By Sonia Elks

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women gained legal rights in nearly 30 countries last year despite disruption due to COVID-19, but governments must do more to ease the disproportionate burden shouldered by women during the pandemic, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

Nations should prioritise gender equality in economic recovery efforts, the bank said, warning that progress on equal rights was threatened by heavier job losses in female-dominated sectors, increased childcare and a surge in domestic violence.

“This pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities that disadvantage girls and women,” David Malpass, World Bank Group president, said in a statement accompanying the annual “Women, Business and the Law” report.

“Women should have the same access to finance and the same rights to inheritance as men and must be at the centre of our efforts toward an inclusive and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A total of 27 countries reformed laws or regulations to give women more economic equality with men in 2019-20, said the report, which grades 190 nations on laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunities.

While countries in all of the world’s regions made improvements in the new index – with most reforms addressing pay and parenthood, women on average still have only about three quarters of the rights granted to men, the report found.

Notably, nearly 40 countries brought in extra benefit or leave policies to help employees balance their jobs with the extra childcare needs created by coronavirus restrictions.

But such measures were “few and far between” worldwide and will probably not go far enough to tackle the “motherhood penalty” many women face in the workplace, it said.

The report also noted separate data from a United Nations tool tracking gender-sensitive pandemic responses which found 70% of such measures addressed violence, with just 10% targeting women’s economic security.

The pandemic could result in “a backslide on various hard-won advances in women’s rights achieved in recent years”, said Antonia Kirkland, the global lead on legal equality at women’s rights organisation Equality Now.

“This disruption is a unique opportunity for countries to rebuild more resilient, inclusive and prosperous economies,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by email.

“But this can only be achieved alongside the removal of sex discriminatory laws that prevent women from participating fully and equally in economic, social and family life.”

(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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Digital health checks vital to travel recovery, Heathrow says

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Digital health checks vital to travel recovery, Heathrow says 6

By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) – Digital health checks will be vital to a recovery in foreign travel from the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain’s Heathrow airport said on Wednesday, after a collapse in passenger numbers saw it plunge to a 2 billion pound ($2.8 billion) loss last year.

The UK government said on Monday trips abroad could restart in mid-May as its vaccination campaign kicks in, sparking a surge in holiday bookings.

It is also looking into a digital health passport or app to help ease restrictions, while conceding the benefits have to be weighed against potential risks to civil liberties.

But Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said digital technology, and international agreements, would be vital to reviving a travel industry on its knees.

“It’s absolutely critical and that’s one of the main things that government needs to work on,” he said, when asked about a digital health app.

At present, paper checks on COVID-19 test results and passenger locator forms take 20 minutes per traveller at Heathrow, making travel near impossible should passenger numbers rise from current low levels.

Britain’s biggest airport said it was “very likely” people would be able to go on their summer holidays, but expects passenger numbers will take time to recover.

The airport, west of London, is forecasting 25 million passengers in the second half of the year, meaning it would be operating at about 50% capacity.

Heathrow, owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority, China Investment Corp and others, last year lost its title as Europe’s busiest airport to Paris after its flight schedules shrank more than those of its rivals.

Passenger numbers plunged 73% to 22 million people last year, with half of those travelling during January and February, before the pandemic shut down global travel in March.

Heathrow said it had 3.9 billion pounds of liquidity, giving it sufficient resources to keep going with low levels of traffic until 2023, despite the 2 billion loss before tax for 2020.

The airport urged the government to provide business tax breaks for big airports, something only available to smaller airports so far, and to extend the furlough job support scheme to help it financially before the recovery takes off.

($1 = 0.7044 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young. Editing by James Davey and Mark Potter)

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Britain’s Heathrow sinks to $2.8 billion loss during pandemic

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Britain's Heathrow sinks to $2.8 billion loss during pandemic 7

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Heathrow Airport plunged to a 2 billion pound ($2.8 billion) annual loss after passenger numbers collapsed to levels last seen in the 1970s during the pandemic.

Heathrow called on the government to agree a common international travel standard to allow passengers to start flying again in the summer and to provide business tax breaks for airports to help them ride out the crisis.

The airport, west of London, is hopeful that travel markets will reopen from mid-May after a government announcement on easing lockdown on Monday.

Still Britain’s biggest airport, Heathrow last year lost its title as the busiest in Europe to Paris as its flight schedules contracted more than its rival’s.

The airport said on Wednesday that during 2020 passenger numbers shrunk 73% to 22 million people, with half of those people having travelled during January and February before COVID-19 shut down global travel.

The airport sunk to a 2 billion loss before tax on revenues which were down 62% to 1.18 billion pounds, but Heathrow said it had 3.9 billion pounds of liquidity and that could keep it going until 2023.

The airport is owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp, among others.

($1 = 0.7044 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton and James Davey)

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