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CFOs can use risk management to create a competitive advantage

A recent article in CFO, How Risk Management Can Spawn Competitive Advantage, is on the right track.

Norman Marks
Norman Marks
However, its advice for CFOs is (in my opinion) short-sighted. It barely scratches the surface.

Its theme is that as long as your risk management program is better than your competitors’, you have a competitive advantage. That is correct, as far as it goes.

Certainly, “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king” (Erasmus).

But, is having one eye open and working sufficient when the enterprise is driving at high speed with risks around every corner, with competitors lurking beside you to potentially cut you off from your way ahead, or when you may be able to use a high-speed lane if you can only move into the lane to your left?


A smart CFO is not satisfied with being able to outrun the competitors he can see. He wants to achieve and then maintain a lead.

He wants a risk management program that helps every decision-maker make more intelligent and informed decisions.

Such a capability provides the board and the executive management team with the confidence to drive at speed along the congested highway of our world. They have confidence that when faced with the need to make decisions at speed, managers will take the desired level of the desired risks.

I welcome your comments.

Norman Marks, CPA, is vice president, governance, risk, and compliance for SAP's BusinessObjects division, and has been a chief audit executive of major global corporations for more than 15 years. He is the contributing editor to Internal Auditor’s “Governance Perspectives” column.

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Vendredi 5 Juin 2015

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