Audit Director Roundtable Asia Emerging Risks Report

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1 Audit Director Roundtable Asia Emerging Risks Report Q3 2012

2 A FRAMEWORK FOR MEMBER CONVERSATIONS The mission of The Corporate Executive Board Company and its affiliates (CEB) is to unlock the potential of organizations and leaders by advancing the science and practice of management. When we bring leaders together, it is crucial that our discussions neither restrict competition nor improperly share inside information. All other conversations are welcomed and encouraged. CONFIDENTIALITY AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY These materials have been prepared by CEB for the exclusive and individual use of our member companies. These materials contain valuable confidential and proprietary information belonging to CEB and they may not be shared with any third party (including independent contractors and consultants) without the prior approval of CEB. CEB retains any and all intellectual property rights in these materials and requires retention of the copyright mark on all pages reproduced. LEGAL CAVEAT CEB is not able to guarantee the accuracy of the information or analysis contained in these materials. Furthermore, CEB is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or any other professional services. CEB specifically disclaims liability for any damages, claims or losses that may arise from a) any errors or omissions in these materials, whether caused by CEB or its sources, or b) reliance upon any recommendation made by CEB.

3 EMERGING RISKS IN ASIA 1 Economic Slowdown: Slowdown worries continue to be the biggest risk in Asia for the second consecutive quarter, as GDP growth estimates continue to be reduced throughout the region. Organizations typically react to an economic slowdown by focusing on cost cutting, paying particular attention to selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) costs. Instead, CEB research shows that organizations should: Focus on reducing the cost of goods sold (COGS) while protecting investments in key growth bets; Embrace risks or threats that emerge during slowdowns that the company is better suited to manage than its competitors; and Pay heed to the increased tendency for employee fraud and misconduct. 2 Price War: The increasing number of new entrants in Asian markets has aggravated the risk of destructive price wars in the region, leading to fears of margin erosion, distorted customer expectations on price, and industry-level profitability issues. Leading organizations avoid these destructive price wars by emphasizing product value differences that enhance long-term customer engagement. In addition, they focus on long-term, strategic defense of market position by avoiding price-based responses to competitors actions. Finally, they communicate pricing decisions clearly so that customers and competitors do not misunderstand these actions for a price war. 3 Compensation Insufficient : CEB research shows that staff in Asia are much more likely to leave their current organizations than their counterparts in other countries. By highlighting compensation as the biggest risk, executives in Asia indicate that this largely drives the inability to retain talent. In reality, compensation is not the only reason for dissatisfaction among employees and their eventual departure. Our research shows that several other elements of the employee value proposition (EVP), such as respect, work life balance, and future career opportunities, are also important influencers of employee satisfaction. Companies should craft their EVPs to take into account the factors considered important by the labor market, look to deliver on these other elements of the EVP as well, and not overemphasize compensation. 4 Foreign Currency Risks: Executives in Asia are concerned about high volatility in exchange rates and its impact on cash flows, debt servicing, and profitability. Leading organizations identify foreign exchange (FX) risks embedded in business processes rather than relying solely on FX risks flagged by business units. They assess the net FX exposure under different economic scenarios and stress test the results to avoid FX volatility. In addition, progressive treasurers clearly specify an FX risk threshold (e.g., earnings at risk) they are comfortable with, and create a standardized FX policy that frames all FX hedging decisions. They educate business managers on the sources of FX risk and exposure limits, the types of exposures to be hedged, and preferred hedging instruments. 3

4 EMERGING RISKS IN ASIA FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS Top 15 Emerging Risks in Asia for the Next 12 Months High 1. Economic Slowdown Very Rapid Velocity Rapid Velocity Slow Velocity 4. Foreign Currency Risk 13. New Market Entrants 2. Price War Size of bubble represents the overall risk score Inflation 5. Staff Bench Strength Risk 11. Inability to Meet Changing Customer Needs Probability Score 15. Political Risk 10. Engagement Risk 3. Compensation Insufficient 12. Project Management/ Change Readiness Risk 7. Competitor Innovation 8. Regulatory Risk 9. Strategy Execution 14. Product Innovation Risk Low Minor Impact Score Very Serious n = 268 executives. 1 Overall Risk Score = (Average Score of Impact 2 + Average Score of Velocity + Average Score of Likelihood) x Percentage of Respondents Selecting the Risk. 2 Average Score of Impact, Likelihood, and Velocity range from 1 (lowest) to 3 (highest). 4

5 EMERGING RISKS IN ASIA BY COUNTRY Top 10 Country-Wise Emerging Risks in Asia By Overall Risk Score Rank China Hong Kong India Singapore Rest of Southeast Asia 1 n = 33. n = 25. n = 122. n = 41. n = Economic Slowdown Economic Slowdown Economic Slowdown Economic Slowdown Staff Bench Strength Risk 2 Strategy Execution Regulatory Risk Foreign Currency Risk Price War Compensation Insufficient 3 Price War Staff Bench Strength Risk Price War Compensation Insufficient Competitor Innovation 4 Staff Bench Strength Risk Price War Inflation Regulatory Risk Economic Slowdown 5 Compensation Insufficient Strategy Execution Compensation Insufficient Inflation Engagement Risk 6 Supply Chain Risk Competitor Innovation Engagement Risk Staff Bench Strength Risk Senior Management Turnover Risk 7 New Market Entrants Compensation Insufficient Project Management/ Change Readiness Risk Compliance Risk Inability to Meet Changing Customer Needs 8 Competitor Innovation Inflation Strategy Execution Strategy Execution New Market Entrants 9 Inability to Meet Changing Customer Needs 10 Senior Management Turnover Risk M&A Risk Regulatory Risk Competitor Innovation Inflation Engagement Risk Competitor Innovation Engagement Risk Regulatory Risk 1 Rest of Southeast Asia includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. 5

6 SLIGHT DISCONNECT IN RISK PERCEPTION BETWEEN AUDIT AND BUSINESS Top 10 Emerging Risks by Finance and Audit Versus Rest of the Organization By Overall Risk Score Risk Finance and Audit Rank Rest of the Organization Rank Economic Slowdown 1 1 Price War 2 2 Other Risks Highlighted by the Rest of the Organization Competitor Innovation: Rank 7 Engagement Risk: Rank 8 Strategy Execution: Rank 10 Foreign Currency Risk 3 5 Inflation 4 6 Compensation Insufficient 5 3 Staff Bench Strength Risk 6 4 Compliance Risk 7 - Regulatory Risk 8 9 Project Management/Change Readiness Risk 9 - Political Risk 10-6

7 Despite the threat of strategy risks, the typical audit department continues to spend most of its time on traditional assurance activities covering financial and compliance risks. INCORPORATE NONTRADITIONAL ASSURANCE ACTIVITIES Balance of Audit Activities in a Given Year Traditional Assurance to Nontraditional Assurance 60% 29% 10% 1% 0% 100% Traditional 80% Traditional 20% Nontraditional 50% Traditional 50% Nontraditional 20% Traditional 80% Nontraditional n = 77. We need to shift our focus so that 80% of our work is strategically focused, while 20% should focus on the more traditional audit engagements around financial, compliance, and operational risks. Chief Audit Executive Financial Services Industry By having a strategic focus, we won t be providing less assurance, but more. This concept is not mutually exclusive from providing core objectives and assurance. Head of Internal Audit Leisure Industry I know in my bones this is the direction Internal Audit has to move to advance our profession. VP and Chief Audit Executive Consumer Services Industry 7

8 ASIA EMERGING RISKS SURVEY The Asia Emerging Risks Survey The Q Asia Emerging Risks Survey, designed by CEB s Audit Director Roundtable, captures and analyzes senior executives opinions on emerging business risks in Asia and provides actionable insight into identifying and mitigating these risks. Survey Methodology The survey asks executives to identify the top five risks in Asia and provide an estimate of probability, impact, and velocity for each of these risks. In addition, the survey also asked executives to provide leading indicators and mitigation strategies adopted to navigate these risks. We organized each of the emerging risks into specific risk categories such as macroeconomic, financial, operational, etc. The appendix contains the list of risk categories and definitions of individual risks in each of these categories. Key Highlights of the Report Risk insights from more than 250 senior executives in Audit, Finance, HR, IT, Legal, Marketing, Sales, and Strategy at Asia s leading companies Analysis of top 10 emerging risks in key Asian markets, with an estimate of their impact, probability, and velocity Peer-suggested risk indicators and mitigation strategies for emerging risks Request for Ongoing Participation Click here to register for the Q Asia Emerging Risks survey. 8

9 Audit Director Roundtable

Asia Emerging Risks Report

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