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Let’s define the risk universe for professional services firms

By Louise Fleming, Partner, Aretai Consulting

30 November 2015

To the best of my knowledge, no one has defined the risk universe for professional services firms (PSFs). There does not seem to be a consistent and widely-accepted industry standard for categorising and defining the risks faced by firms of accountants, lawyers, surveyors and others.

Is this an insurmountable barrier to effective risk management? No. We are all getting on with identifying and defining risk on a firm-by-firm basis. It is, however, a barrier to efficient risk management. We could streamline our approach to managing risk if we had an industry standard for the risks facing PSFs. As well as being more efficient, having such a blueprint would facilitate a more complete and accurate risk assessment by firms.

I am not saying that all firms should slavishly follow a single framework, but it is much easier to have an outline for people to review and challenge than to start with...

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