Risk Assessment

Annie Searle with then-Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff at a lunch of Northwest leaders.
Annie Searle with then-Secretary of Homeland Security
Michael Chertoff at a lunch of Northwest leaders.

An ASA Risk Assessment analyzes your company's formal policies, procedures and any other internal controls to see how effective they are, where gaps may exist and how they can be made more effective to reduce your company's risk exposure.

The snapshot you receive is more strategic and flexible than that of a more narrowly focused auditor or regulator. The accompanying roadmap shows how to correct issues found and continue on a path toward a higher level of maturity.

Often an audit or regulatory finding is a result of a disconnect between a company's formal governance process (including policies and standards and reporting) and how certain types of work are performed (operational processes, procedures and reporting). Sometimes the disconnect is unintentional or the result of a lack of staff training; sometimes the control itself is so manual that it is easy to deliberately ignore it, especially if employees are impatient with the right way to do things.

Part of ASA's deliverable is a two-tier set of recommendations:

  • Some will be short term and tactical, involving the creation or redesign of existing policies and procedures or the automation of a manual control
  • Some may necessarily be long term, involving more work to create a risk framework for governance as well as policies and procedures

When you request a risk assessment from ASA, we will provide both a gap analysis and a convert our recommendations into a risk roadmap. There are three parts to the effort in additon to the final report:

  • Interview a range of managers and staff to obtain a well-rounded view of the company
  • Compare program or project maturity levels with other institutions of the same size
  • Convert recommendations into a simplified roadmap with checklists so that different parts of the company can see their role and know where they fit in the larger picture.

Roadmap Design

Under extreme duress, all a company can see is the present. When that present includes budget constraints, the temptation is to set aside five-year plans to focus on the crisis of the moment. Companies risk losing sight of the bigger picture, especially when caught off guard by uncontrollable events, such as hurricanes, oil spills, wildfires or even theft of intellectual property.

To take a complex set of goals and render them coherent even in crisis is not a simple matter. ASA can convert your strategic plan into a simplified roadmap with checklists so that different parts of your company can see their role and know where they fit into the larger picture.