EY Steps Up To Strategic Risk

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Regular readers will be hard pressed to find too many shout outs and kudos to Big 4 firms or their defenders on this blog.  
Oh,  they’re there.  And there.  And there.

But I’m very picky about giving out compliments.  It’s not that I don’t have many friends, former colleagues, and business contacts that are with the firms, working hard and trying to do the right thing.  
I do. 
It’s just that the blog is about the business of the Big 4, not the individuals toiling behind the scenes, the canaries in the coal mines.  And it’s a small number of very senior guys (and a few gals at EY) that actually run the business of the Big 4.  Staff, managers, and  the vast majority of partners are just gerbils running on the Big 4 wheel.  The majority of partners serve clients, sometimes more than one, and most do the best they can under the circumstances.  

So when I see something really good, I do want to give credit where credit is due.  
One of my more recent consulting projects was to develop a new risk assessment process for the internal audit function of a multinational.  The risk assessment was to be used to develop the annual internal audit plan.  When developing the project plan for this engagement, I was reminded of how difficult it is for most professionals to identify risks.  Once they get past the most obvious ones, articulating the specific risks for their business in the major COSO ERM categories of Strategic, Operational, Financial Reporting and Legal and Regulatory risk, is difficult for all but the most dedicated risk and controls gurus.  
So, it was refreshing to see EY tackle the Strategic Risk category, a particularly tough one, in their super new glossy document.
Congratulations E & Y.  

I may not agree with everything you say, but I will compliment the hell out of your willingness to say it.