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1. Five key defenses against risk   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
When does a company pull the trigger on an acquisition or investment? When is expanding into a new market a prudent choice? And when is the right time to hire additional personnel or change employee benefits?These are among the many questions organizations consider through a lens of strategic opportunities and risks.

2. How to conduct a risk workshop  

BY Neil Amato
Humana is a company of 50,000 people, so assessing and addressing all the risks that each segment of the company encounters is no easy feat.For years, Humana, a multibillion-dollar player in managed health care and health insurance, had a top-down approach to risk. But a few years ago, the company decided it wanted to manage risk from the bottom up as well.

3. Saving face in the Facebook age  

BY Jack Hagel
Businesses are focusing more on reputational risk today than in the past. But many companies do not vigorously monitor social media and lack processes to calculate the financial impact of not managing reputational risk.Seventy-six percent of the 1,300-plus CGMA designation holders who took part in a recent survey said businesses in their industry are putting more focus on reputational risk than in the past.

4. From CGMA Magazine: Finance's role in fostering innovation  

BY Jack Hagel
The finance function is rarely expected to be the originator of a breakthrough product or technology. But it has an important role in ensuring that great ideas are spotted, encouraged, financed, and delivered efficiently to the market. “A finance function needs to be able to understand the business well enough to know what is a worthwhile activity but also, in this part of the business, to have a bit more of an open mind,” Royal Dutch Shell CFO Simon Henry, CGMA, explains in the CGMA report Managing Innovation: Harnessing the Power of Finance.

5. How to do business abroad  

BY Sabine Vollmer
Infragistics is a 21st-century pioneer. The midsize New Jersey software developer has built its business by expanding into emerging markets—wherever it could find sales potential and outstanding software development talent. “If there’s a strategic business opportunity, if it’s kosher, we’ll go there,” said Chris Rogers, CPA, CFO of Infragistics, which was founded in 1989 and today has about 350 employees on five continents.

6. From CGMA Magazine: The merits of thinking the unthinkable  

BY Jack Hagel
You’re about to embark on an important project. You think it will be a success, but you can’t be sure. So you imagine that, a year down the track, your project has failed. Then you seek answers: What killed it? How could failure have been avoided? What other kinds of low-probability events could have shut down the project? Executives, spooked by devastating “black swan events” during the financial crisis, are increasingly examining these kinds of what-if scenarios to stress-test risks in a potential strategy or to refine contingency planning.

7. ERM: Where to go from here  

BY Kenneth A. Merchant, CPA, Ph.D.
During the past decade, many corporations have embraced enterprise risk management (ERM) processes to identify and prioritize risk. The prioritization of risk is typically done through “heat maps” showing which risks are most likely and which may have the most severe consequences. Effective ERM processes force an integrated consideration of risk, looking beyond single projects and departments.

8. Protect “crown jewels” by integrating risk management into strategy   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
In an environment where risks are growing—and growing in complexity—few companies are fully considering risk in their business strategies. The percentage of companies adopting enterprisewide risk oversight has almost tripled in three years but remains small; implementation has yet to take place in more than three out of four organizations, a recent survey done for the AICPA shows.

9. Data breaches emerge as tech sector’s fastest-rising risk factor   WebExclusive

BY Jeff Drew
Concerns over technology breaches and data security are soaring among the largest U.S. tech companies, according to a new report from accounting and consulting firm BDO. An examination of the most recent SEC 10-K filings for the 100 biggest publicly traded technology companies found that 71% listed data-security breaches as a major risk to their operations, according to the 2012 BDO Technology RiskFactor Report.

10. SEC proposes identity theft “red flags” rules to protect investors   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Broker-dealers, mutual funds and other SEC-regulated entities would be required to create programs to detect and respond appropriately to identity theft red flags under an SEC rules proposal announced Tuesday and issued for public comment. The proposed rules are designed to protect investors from identity theft and are similar to rules adopted in 2007 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other federal financial regulatory agencies.
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