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Intangible risks demand business resilience


A new report from a mid-tier firm has found that increasing cyber risk and reputational risk mean both accounting firms and their clients need to develop robust crisis management processes.

By Lara Bullock2 minute read

Last week, BDO released the results of its Global Risk Landscape 2017 Survey in a report revealing that cyber risk is the main organisational risk senior executives face in 2017 for the Asia Pacific region.


Meanwhile, disruptive technologies and reputational risk pose the most challenges over the next 10 years according to the results.

On a global stage the top three risks identified were regulatory risk, economic slowdown/slow recovery, and increasing competition.

BDO risk advisory partner Marita Corbett told Accountants Daily that the top current risks identified by the report are just as relevant for accounting firms.

“Accounting firms are most concerned of the detrimental impact a cyber incident can have on their longer-term reputation, with high profile data breaches hitting the headlines on a regular basis,” she said.

“These concerns are also likely to reflect new data protection and mandatory breach disclosure laws.”

Ms Corbett said that competition and the pressing need to reinvent and adapt service offerings and business models as client demands change is a key challenge for firms.

“It is clear that in an increasingly competitive environment, the ability to adapt, embrace change, invest in the right technologies and leverage the right data will sort the winners from the losers,” she said.

According to Ms Corbett accountants should also be assisting their clients to strengthen organisational resilience, so that they have a better chance of preventing negative publication from becoming a full blown crisis.

“As emerging, less tangible risks rise up on the agenda, including reputation, cyber and supply chain, it is the existence of robust crisis management processes and the speed of response that makes all the difference,” she said.

“Legislative burdens will not go away and the need for our clients to demonstrate high standards of corporate governance will remain. Increasingly though, we see these requirements driven not just by compliance, but by our clients’ recognition of the increasing fragility of brands and reputation.”

Intangible risks demand business resilience
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