Preparing for a global risk assessment

ARTICLE | January 31, 2024

Authored by RSM US LLP

In the dynamic and increasingly unpredictable landscape of international business, numerous challenges could severely affect a company’s operations and cause significant financial damages—these include economic volatility, regulatory changes, natural disasters, global health crises and cyberattacks, just to name a few. A global risk assessment has become an essential tool for any global corporation to ensure business continuity and minimize risk exposure.

While it’s difficult for a business to be completely prepared for some of these potentially seismic scenarios, a global risk assessment can go a long way to keep your business from being caught off guard.

A checklist to follow

Is your organization ready for unexpected risks? Have you set up critical controls? Are you able to react swiftly and smartly to incidents that surface? Here is a checklist that provides some important guidance for to you to consider when preparing for a global risk assessment:

  1. Pre-assessment preparation: Determine key internal and external stakeholders, assemble cross-functional teams, define risk assessment goals and methods.
  2. Risk mapping: Identify internal risks across all departments and operating regions, including risks from suppliers, vendors, regulatory agencies, etc.
  3. Risk assessment: Rank all potential risks by likelihood of them happening, potential economic damage to the company and impact on brand reputation.
  4. Mitigation plan: Develop specific measures to prevent and mitigate different risks; allocate both technology and human resources for different mitigation plans.
  5. Contingency plan: Appoint a dedicated team for certain critical situations, define clear reporting channels and establish decision-making protocols. Develop a business continuity and crisis management plan, including setting up facilities or devices for data backup to ensure minimal business shut down.
  6. Investigation protocol: Establish the team (including internal and external resources) needed to conduct an investigation to answer the key questions about the risk that materialized, including documenting mitigation steps for when an issue is identified.
  7. Scenario simulation: Conduct simulated risk scenarios to evaluate the readiness of mitigation and contingency plans.
  8. Monitoring and improvement: Periodically review the risk assessment process, mitigation plans and contingency plans. Continuously update and improve them as changes occur internally or externally.

Digital tools to deploy

To minimize the potential risks to your company’s global operations, effective and up-to-date digital tools should be deployed. Here are some tools that can offer significant advantages

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI) data analytics tools: Data analytics tools that incorporate AI can allow your company to collect, process and analyze data in real time. Thus, data from various resources can be captured altogether to provide early warnings of potential risks. For example, AI tools developed to detect fraud risks have proven to identify potential improper transactions that traditional tools failed to detect, catching bad actors sooner and minimizing the financial impact to organizations.
  2. Cybersecurity tools: Global businesses face cyberthreats from both domestic and offshore bad actors. Cybersecurity tools are vital in preventing unauthorized access, data breaches, information leaks, malware attacks and other cyberthreats that can lead to financial losses or even legal consequences.
  3. Supply chain monitoring tools: Companies operating across borders often depend on complex global supply chain systems. Effective supply chain monitoring tools can allow your company to track the movement of goods, forecast demands and manage inventory. With more advanced set ups, ensuring international trade compliance and ethical sourcing can also be achieved. 

How to leverage a trusted advisor

  1. Testing and validationTo provide a sense of credibility to stakeholders, investors, creditors and regulators, a trusted advisor can independently test the effectiveness of your company’s existing internal controls or enterprise risk management system. For example, RSM can develop a testing program that provides benchmarking while also demonstrating your company’s commitment to strong risk management.
  2. Mitigation plan developmentBy drawing from experience in handling similar risks from other companies in the same industry, a trusted advisor can bring a more comprehensive view to how to mitigate and react to certain risks. With this deep perspective, we can develop a customized mitigation plan that embraces your company’s business goals and core values.
  3. Technology tools implementationData analytics, AI, cybersecurity, supply chain optimization—there are so many options for technology and digital tools in today’s business world. Which tools are the most cost-effective? Which tools satisfy your need as a multinational business? Which tools best meet the needs of your industry? Leverage RSM to provide insight for selecting and implementing tools and technologies, including migrating to fit your existing digital infrastructure.
  4. Dispute and litigation supportIn case of a business dispute, regulator inquiry or government investigation, a trusted advisor provides the in-depth understanding of complex financial, technical and industry-specific matters that are crucial in dispute situations. Through comprehensive research, data analysis and expert testimony, we can facilitate negotiations, strengthen legal arguments and assist the legal team to achieve favorable outcomes.
  5. Loss determination and insurance claim supportNot all risks can be prevented. A trusted advisor can work with you to quantify business losses accurately and defensibly. Only an advisor with deep industry knowledge and experience in insurance claim calculations, can help you achieve the optimal insurance claim resolution and accelerate the business recovery process.

Putting a plan in place

Amid a growing spectrum of business threats, a global risk assessment is a critical tool to address risks and establish continuity and sustainability. While no organization can completely insulate itself against all risks, an assessment can prepare your business for a wide range of risks and lessen the potential of harmful financial and reputational damages and interruptions in operations. Preparation for the global risk assessment itself is a critical initial step in the process, ensuring that your key stakeholders are incorporated and your critical interests are taken into account.

Let's Talk!

Call us at +1 213.873.1700, email us at or fill out the form below and we'll contact you to discuss your specific situation.

  • Topic Name:
  • Should be Empty:

This article was written by RSM US LLP and originally appeared on 2024-01-31.
2022 RSM US LLP. All rights reserved.

RSM US Alliance provides its members with access to resources of RSM US LLP. RSM US Alliance member firms are separate and independent businesses and legal entities that are responsible for their own acts and omissions, and each is separate and independent from RSM US LLP. RSM US LLP is the U.S. member firm of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax, and consulting firms. Members of RSM US Alliance have access to RSM International resources through RSM US LLP but are not member firms of RSM International. Visit us for more information regarding RSM US LLP and RSM International. The RSM logo is used under license by RSM US LLP. RSM US Alliance products and services are proprietary to RSM US LLP.

​Vasquez & Company LLP is a proud member of the RSM US Alliance, a premier affiliation of independent accounting and consulting firms in the United States. RSM US Alliance provides our firm with access to resources of RSM US LLP, the leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. RSM US LLP is a licensed CPA firm and the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms with more than 43,000 people in over 120 countries.

Our membership in RSM US Alliance has elevated our capabilities in the marketplace, helping to differentiate our firm from the competition while allowing us to maintain our independence and entrepreneurial culture. We have access to a valuable peer network of like-sized firms as well as a broad range of tools, expertise and technical resources.

For more information on how ​Vasquez & Company LLP can assist you, please call +1 213.873.1700.

Subscribe to receive important updates from our Insights and Resources.

  • Should be Empty: