Canadian Underwriter

And the R is for risk…

April 1, 2016   by Jeff Pearce

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Got to love the commercials for the CPA. Someone with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada must think their job has a boring image. Kind of like, um, uh… well, you know. So in one spot, you see an attractive woman with wind-swept hair in a helicopter, pointing decisively at the urban landscape: “Here!” Is it here because she’s calling the shots on some real estate purchase, or here because she really, really wants to land on that roof for lunch? Not sure.

Then as the action sequence music pumps away, our plucky accountant is out in a grain field. “Well, the P is for professional,” she says. Now unless this woman’s doing the books for SPECTRE, I have my doubts about her glamorous day.

And yet… The CPA, along with FEI Canada, has just clearly demonstrated it understands risk. The two groups have collaborated and put out an interesting survey, The State of Enterprise Risk Management in Canada. When one in five companies say they don’t have a documented risk management plan in place, I’d say that’s cause for concern. We’re talking threats that include your favourite hits such as enterprise reputation, natural disaster and cyber.

Carol Raven, who is the principal of research for the CPA, says whatever the size of the organization, “you really should be looking at your risk management and making sure you have a documented management plan to deal with… or at least to be investigating whether you need to deal with these risks or not.” But she recognizes some small organizations might actually look at the whole issue in terms of a lack of resources.

And Laura Pacheco, vice-president of research with FEI Canada, says while the formal documents may not be there, “perhaps what they do have is a series of processes, and I think a lot of these entrepreneurial types have this, I have a gut feel… A lot of these entrepreneurs will say it’s just in my DNA, ‘I know, it smells right.’ ”

I happen to think these results also present an opportunity. Consider that the main industries represented in the survey included manufacturing; finance and insurance; mining, quarrying and oil and gas; and professional scientific and technical services. Companies in those fields that don’t have a plan could use expertise on preventative measures delivered by smart brokers and insurers. These are markets then that aren’t being fully exploited. And if you make an impression, maybe you’ll even get a helicopter ride. Ah, the insurance field… No one knows what exciting lives there can be in this business. If one takes a little risk.

Copyright © 2016 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the March 2016 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.