What Are the Different Methods of Corporate Risk Assessment?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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Corporate risk assessment is a process that seeks to identify the potential liabilities associated with making certain decisions within the operation of a business. Considered an important component in the process of risk management, the goal is to ascertain if the possible drawbacks or risks associated with a given action or decision are offset by the potential benefits gained by that same activity. There are actually several different approaches to corporate risk assessment that are in common use, including assessing risk associated with internal, external, and financial investment decisions.

Internal corporate risk assessment is a broad approach that tends to focus on issues that impact the overall operation of the business model. This will include reviewing how the production floor is arranged, how well the business is doing in terms of compliance with governmental and industry safety standards, and even how finished goods are stored while awaiting shipment. Here, the goal is to make sure that the operational processes that lead to the company’s chief means of revenue generation are as efficient and as practical as possible.


External corporate risk assessment has to do with how the decisions of owners and managers affect those outside the operation. This includes activities such as assessing the safety of the packaging used for finished goods, and what issues the packaging could present for consumers. In like manner, the impact of the business operation on the local economy and even how the operation of plant facilities affects the local environment may be involved. Essentially, the idea is to determine if decisions are being made that could create issues for the wider community and in turn have an adverse effect on the company itself.

Financial corporate risk assessment will typically focus on what type of holdings and investments the company chooses to maintain, weighing the benefits of ownership with the potential liabilities. With this approach, the idea is to arrange the company’s investment portfolio in a manner that presents a balance between the potential gains and the level of risk associated with particular investments. Under the best of circumstances, financial corporate risk assessment can help maximize returns while limiting risk, based on the combination of assets that are purchased and held in the name of the company.

The different methods of risk assessment come together in a cohesive effort to protect the interests of the company and position the business to capitalize on all opportunities without incurring an unreasonable level of risk. The specifics of how this is accomplished will vary, depending on the type and size of the business operation. While the strategies employed may differ from one business to another, the basics of paying attention to internal, external, and financial factors will always be present if the risk assessment approach is to succeed.


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