May 20, 2020
In an effort to help boards, executives, and managers recognize how a better understanding and communication of risk appetite will help their organizations succeed, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) is releasing new guidance, “Risk Appetite–Critical to Success,” focusing on how organizations can promote risk appetite as an integral part of decision-making. The project was commissioned by COSO and co-authored by Frank Martens of Pacific Rim Risk Management Services Ltd. and Dr. Larry Rittenberg, Ernst & Young Emeritus Professor of Accounting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. The guidance focuses on linking risk appetite with strategies and objectives and applying appetite as part of managing an organization for success, given the amount of risk the organization is willing and needs to take. As noted in the paper, risk appetite must be flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions, helping an organization to remain relevant in the evolving landscape. Those who anticipate and understand their risk when change happens are better able to embrace the change and be more agile in challenging conditions.