What is enterprise risk management (ERM)?

enterprise risk management

Last modified on July 8th, 2024

In 2009, Dutch banking company ING suffered a loss of $8.5 million at a huge cost to the business due to employee embezzlement. That is one of the risks that enterprises face. The fraudster, an accounting manager at the company, used other employees’ passwords so he could sign in as a colleague and give the green light to checks of up to £250,000. Enterprise risk management (ERM) solutions could have prevented the fraud before it occurred to avoid costs to the organization. Read on to learn more about ERM definition, process, and best practices.

Trustpair is a type of ERM software that helps enterprise companies prevent fraud thanks to ongoing account validation. Our technology blocks the impact of financial fraud. Request a demo to learn more!

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Enterprise risk management, a definition

Enterprise risk management refers to the steps and processes taken to manage and deal with risks from the viewpoint of the whole organization or business.

It looks at any internal or external risks that could stand in the way of the organization’s objectives.

These risks can look like internal fraud or embezzlement and range from compliance with regulations to supply chain issues.

For example, payment fraud is on the rise for large companies and should be managed.

Trustpair’s latest data found that comparing 2022 to 2023, there was a 71% increase in the number of businesses targeted by payment fraud. Also, the data revealed that 96% of companies were targeted by at least one fraud attempt.

Enterprise risk management processes will enable you to stay on top of risks that threaten the organization’s operations and be proactive, rather than reactive. Therefore, you can reduce the financial and reputational damage of any risk if it were to occur.

 

Enterprise risk management vs traditional risk management

Traditionally, risk management could involve responding to an individual risk after it had occurred to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Whereas, enterprise risk management is more proactive and involves analyzing the company-wide risks before it comes to fruition. ERM assesses whether these risks are worth it.

Also, the view of risks is different too. Traditional risk management surrounds avoiding the risks at all costs. However, ERM involves choosing strategic risks to take where you can gain. For example, let’s say your business orders 10,000 items of stock when you have sold 500 products.

The risk is that you may be left with a backlog of inventory. Though, if you;ve had lots of people sign up for the waiting list, an opportunity arises to sell 10,000 products rather than just 500 and to please more potential customers.

For example, a proactive risk management process around embezzlement could be not allowing one person to handle the control of assets (cash or money) and also making payments to suppliers. This could be split between employees.

A real-life example of this is when the office manager of a Scottish property firm embezzled more than $1.1 million.

The criminal was able to take deposits from tenants that weren’t required and send rent payments to bank accounts controlled by herself.

Perhaps if she wasn’t able to solely take deposits from tenants and send payments to bank accounts, staff members may have been able to identify the embezzlement.

It follows the segregation of duties (SOD) principle, which is a useful internal control. SOD means that more than one person is involved in a process so no one can commit and conceal fraud or suspicious activity with it going unnoticed.

Also, enterprise risk management can be much more flexible to adapt to a new type of fraud and put a risk management process in place. Whereas traditional risk management will be one pre-determined action.

Finally, traditional risk management usually puts management in charge of risk within their department. However, this can mean that risks slip through the cracks in the crossover between departments and leaders.

On the other hand, the ERM approach offers more of a holistic view of risks. It focuses on risks that could hamper the company’s objectives. Instead of being department focused, it is company-wide and a chief risk officer (CRO) may be employed to deal with these risks in an enterprise.

 

What is the ERM process?

An ERM framework includes the following:

  • Outlining risks
  • Analyzing risk
  • Creating strategies
  • Tracking risks

Outlining risks

Identify and outline key risks so you know what your business is facing as part of the ERM framework. This process involves making a risk statement and researching the risk to learn more.

Analyzing risk

There are two main considerations in the risk analysis process; the likelihood of the risk and how severe the consequences would be.

Your company must also bear in mind the current risk management strategies that are in place and how well-equipped they are to deal with newer risks.

Creating strategies

Based on the risk analysis, create and implement an action plan for how to deal with specific types of risks.

For example, a risk may be that the supply chain may be damaged if your preferred supplier is late with their order. A risk strategy could be to have an approved backup supplier in case that occurs.

If you don’t have that plan in place, you may have to rush the onboarding of a new supplier or third party and may miss that they aren’t compliant with regulations. This could then result in a financial penalty for your company.

Tracking risks

Once the risk management strategy is in place, it’s not a case of just leaving it and forgetting about it. The monitoring and tracking of risks is important to see if there has been any change in the risk and therefore the strategy can be adapted. Staying on top of risks is important.

For example, a company may be placed on an international blacklist. Software like Trustpair’s can raise this as a red flag so you can take action and avoid penalties.

 

What are ERM best practices?

Here are some of the most effective best practises for managing risks:

Ensure there are open communication channels

The decision to deploy an enterprise risk management process must be spoken about with stakeholders to ensure everyone is on board with the decision. Additionally, the changes must be communicated to the staff to get full buy-in.

There should be open communication channels set up. That way, employees can raise their thoughts on risks and report any potential risks. The staff should also feel confident and empowered to raise these concerns.

Train and educate staff about ERM

Staff should know what to look out for with these risks and they should be trained on how to manage risks and deal with the risk in good time if they come across one.

Audit and review the process regularly

Once your enterprise business has an ERM process in action, it shouldn’t just be left and forgotten about. Regular reviews of the ERM program should be conducted to guarantee that it is up to date with current risks that the enterprise is facing.

That way, the company can be well organized in case a new risk comes to light and they have already got a management process in action.

Explore ERM software

Enterprise risk management software can support enterprises in facing risks. One of these risks is fraud and platforms like Trustpair can help thanks to the consistent account validation. Trustpair’s automated services would pick up any changes in supplier data.

So, without having to do anything, you know that due diligence has been completed to ensure that your suppliers aren’t raising any red flags.

Recap

Now you know all about enterprise risk management – the ways that different risks are mitigated and dealt with. The process involves outlining the risk, analyzing the risk, creating a strategy, and tracking the risks. One of the best practices of ERM is to deploy risk management software like Trustpair.  Our fraud prevention software prevents risks like fraud thanks to consistent account validation.

FAQ

The five components of enterprise risk management are company culture, governance and values, strategic planning, objectives, and goal setting. Number three is operating a risk management cycle, there is also monitoring and continuous improvement. The final component is transparency, communication, and reporting.

Five types of enterprise risks are legal risks, reputational risks, financial risks, operational risks, and strategic risks.

Manage the risks related to corporate treasury.

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