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For Immediate Release
January 17, 2013
Protiviti Reveals Ten Major Challenges Facing Multinational Businesses in 2013
  • ·         More than 200 corporate leaders identify the most significant risks their companies face in the year ahead
  • ·         Economic volatility and cyber risks seen among the biggest challenges
  • ·         Financial reporting is surprising omission from the list
London 17 January 2013 – Economic volatility, cyber risks and escalating regulation are identified as three of the biggest challenges facing multinationals in 2013, according to new research1 carried out by Protiviti (www.protiviti.co.uk), a global consulting firm. 
The survey, which canvassed more than 200 corporate leaders including board members and C-level executives at multinational firms, also found that retaining top talent and maximising opportunities through organic growth were other top priorities. 
Peter Richardson, Managing Director, Protiviti UK, said: “The research provides invaluable insight into the areas which very senior business executives regard as the most challenging for the year ahead.  It is clear that many businesses are expecting 2013 to be a tough environment and it is critical, therefore, that businesses adequately prepare for the challenges ahead.
“As risk profiles change over time, companies need to constantly revise their assessment of their core risk exposure and ensure that coherent action plans are in place to manage these risks.  As this survey demonstrates, there remains a vast array of challenges for businesses, and without firm and knowledgeable guidance, it is relatively easy for an oversight to occur that would have longstanding consequences for the business as a whole.”
Top 10 - Major Challenges facing Multinational Businesses in 2013
·         Regulatory changes and increased regulatory scrutiny
·         Economic conditions
·         Global political and economic volatility
·         Retaining top talent
·         Organic growth through existing customers
·         Cyber risks
·         Adaptation of business structure
·         Keeping up with competitors
·         Unforeseen crisis management event
·         Utilising ‘Big Data’
Lindsay Dart, Managing Director, Protiviti UK continues: “While the survey highlights succinctly the significant business threats and risks, one of the surprising findings was that the issues surrounding financial reporting failed to be identified as a ‘top 10’ issue.
“We should be concerned that the respondents to the survey, who are all top level executives at multinational firms, appear not as concerned as they should be with challenges around financial reporting, an area that continues to see huge changes in legislated process, and in which failure to comply is likely to be business critical.”
In response to the survey results, Protiviti has suggested 12 items that should be found on an audit committee agenda for the year ahead.  Among the 12 issues highlighted are compliance infrastructure, mandatory auditor rotation and ensuring that the company’s risk profile is up-to-date.  The full mandate can be found in Volume 5, Issue 1 of The Bulletin, “Setting the 2013 Audit Committee Agenda,” available at www.protiviti.com.
1 The research was carried out by Protiviti in partnership with North Carolina State University’s ERM Initiative.  There were over 200 respondents from multinational firms.
For further information:
Paul Griffin/ Hugh Fasken, Citigate Dewe Rogerson                       
020 7282 1041/ 2854
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