Risk Analysis and Management Software and the the CPA

Article excerpt

There are many risks and uncertainties that the CPA must assess in performing the attest function and providing recommendations to clients. Examples of such risks are economic, corporate, industry, political, technological, currency, social, environmental, employee, product liability, and financial. The CPA should also be able to offer recommendations to clients on how to curtail or even eliminate such risks. There is software available to assist in assessing, evaluating, and controlling the risks facing clients.

Risk Management Software

The CPA may be in a position to assist clients in establishing a business risk management information system (RMIS). Although such a system includes hardware and software components, this discussion only focuses on the software.

Risk Software Packages And Products

The Expert Business Impact Analysis System from Decision Support Systems provides risk appraisal factors and protection strategy recommendations. It has a database of global threats and vulnerability assessments with comparative analysis and reporting capabilities. It contains threat probabilities with documented statistical sources, outage durations, and regional segmentation. It has interactive "what-if" analysis features for scenario planning to evaluate the benefits of alternative solutions and to perform comparisons with the current and historical backgrounds. (For information telephone (800) 7886447, e-mail BIsys@acom, or write to Decision Support Systems, 380S. State Road 434, Suite 1004-117, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714).

Strohl Systems offers contingency planning software products to plan for unexpected disruptions in operations. It is better to anticipate interruptions before they turn into major problems. BIA Professional is a business impact analysis tool that allows the client to quickly and easily define the effects of a disaster and helps target critical functions for contingency planning. Living Disaster Recovery Planning Systems (LDRPS) is continuity (recovery) planning software including a question and answer feature, sample documents and diagrams, graphics, report writer, recover strategies and contingency planning, and presentation of recovery activities in the form of program evaluation and review technique (PERT) and Gantt charts. Plans and procedures cover emergency response, crisis management, notification, facilities relocation, security, asset management and retrieval, vital records, contamination, safety, and health. (For information write Strohl Systems, 500 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406; telephone (610) 768-4120, fax (610) 768-4138, or Web http.//www.strohl-systems.com)

Recovery PAC from CSCI is business recovery planning software that includes comprehensive business impact analysis and risk assessment. It identifies critical business functions and applications and sets priorities for recovery. It also identi xes risk exposures that can potentially turn into a disaster. (For information telephone (800) 925-CSC).

Internal Operations Risk Analysis from Business Foundations Software evaluates a company's areas of risk and internal control structure. It is an expert system developed around 180 interview questions. Based on answers to questions, the software prepares a management report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses in the operations of the business. A risk rating (high, medium, low) is assigned to categories of transactions. Operational areas evaluated by the software include working environment, objects planning, and personnel. It recommends corrective steps for problem areas. …