Practice Notes by FD : Helping clients assess risk
Accountants need to break the pervading SME owner view that "we know it all and we know it best" . All too often a successful business is felled by the impact of an event that was entirely foreseeable and whose risk could have been insured or diversified away. This is where the accountant needs to grasp the nettle, look their client in the eye and ask "please can show show me your risk analysis" . With almost 100% certainty you will have nothing to read in response to your question. At best you will hear that "we have insurance to cover stock and loss of profits and I checked only yesterday" .
What about econmic risk, currency risk , key staff risk , key customer risk , supplier risk, fire risk and more ? It may have crossed their minds at some point and perhaps one in isolation is survivable, but two coming at once or in close succession is an entirely different proposition and often an existential risk. Put a value on it and clients will sit up and start losing sleep. A comprehensive risk analysis , together with the financial effects of events crystallising, is another value added opportunity for accountants and invaluable advice for clients.
At the same time it reduces your risk.
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