Archive for the ‘Risk Management’ Category

Costing drives sustainability measurement in organizations

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

This is a post by CMA R.Veeraraghavan. He is a Fellow of the ICWAI,  Dy. CAO at the Mumbai Port Turst and also a moderator in this portal.

Lack of transparent performance measurement and reporting in the business world is the main reason for the global financial crisis that we are witnessing in the recent past.

Performance measurement has two aspect one is measurement of resources and the other is enumerating its cost for a business activity.

Except in the Indian law, given below none of the legislation has a pervasive clause of performance measurement, performance measurement is tool for measuring cost and consumption of resources, where as triple bottom line are dimension or areas of such measurement pervasiveness.


Integrated Reporting.


Integrated Reporting-Triple Bottom line_CSR and Environment reports,green reporting as they are often referred to, would be an inadequate exercise,if devoid of or not supplemented by a good costing system in place , and a good cost management Reporting.
Simply capturing expenditure and reporting the proportion to revenue spent from transaction accounts would not serve the real purpose of sustainability under a holistic model.

Business survives on value created out of the environment -whether it impacts the environment or the other way round-sometimes businesses build environment.

Environment are of three kinds :

1.The Green.-Physical.The Colour that represents fertile feature.

2.The Yellow.-Social.The colour that represents prosperity.

3.The White.-Economic. The colour that represents transperancy.

All these types of environment enriches on the cost sunk and the resources that gets exploited through business activity.

Business principle is to minimise cost - optimise resource consumption and maximise Value creation.

Transaction Accounting(financial Accounting)with its inherent deficiency cannot address the above concerns, it is when the cost Accounting gets rolled out in a systematic and continuous exercise format would the business truthfully and transparently run value to the stakeholder.

It is thus of prime concern that all our efforts across the globe is to develop a system of universally accepted cost accounting principles and make entities observe these principles and give credence the integration of reporting mechanism.



Sustainability Report:

Sustainability reporting is the practice of measuring,
disclosing, and being accountable to internal and
external stakeholders for organizational performance
towards the goal of sustainable development.


‘Sustainability reporting’ is a broad term considered
synonymous with others used to describe reporting on
economic, environmental, and social impacts (e.g., triple
bottom line, corporate responsibility reporting, etc.).


Where it builds on:

Economic- material and labour and other items of cost. this other items of cost is expansive to include social and environmental cost and concumption and ideally they are overheads to the product and processes and impact their sustainability at strategic and operational levels.


Integrated Reporting demonstrates the linkages between an organization’s strategy, governance and financial performance and the social, environmental and economic context within which it operates. By reinforcing these connections, Integrated Reporting can help business to take more sustainable decisions and enable investors and other stakeholders to understand how an organization is really performing.


Costing improves performance in organizations-IFAC-PAIB.

1. IGPG Document.


The creation, operation, alteration, and cessation of every action and function in an

organization – whether within the private, public, or voluntary sector – all consume

economic resources. Measuring, accumulating, and assigning those resources to the

organization’s various processes and outputs allows the structure and operation of the

organization to be explained, understood, and improved. Costing, the accounting term

that embraces these processes and expresses them using money as a common language,

lies at the heart of managerial accountancy and, exercised intelligently, is among the most

powerful disciplines available to professional accountants in business (PAIB).


1.2. Costing contributes to an understanding of how profits and value are created, and how

efficiently and effectively operational processes transform input into output. It can be

applied to resource, process, product/service, customer, and channel-related information

covering the organization and its value chain. Costing information can be used to provide

feedback on past performance, and to motivate and change future performance. Costing is

thus an essential tool in creating shareholder and stakeholder value. Given its importance

and breadth of scope, it is unsurprising that many different costing methods exist, both in

the literature and in practice. This can create confusion and uncertainty for managers, and

PAIBs need a sufficient understanding of sound costing principles to be able to select and

apply useful approaches.

1.3 The basic building blocks of costing are operational measurements of consumed resources

(resources include people, space, equipment, and consumables, these being the drivers of cost

and levers of change). Such measurements enable managers to draw conclusions and make

judgments about why (a) the organization’s results turned out as they did (performance

evaluation), (b) what this means for the future (planning), and (c) the probable results of

available courses of action (analysis of alternatives) all of which comprise essential

information for effective decision making. The principles in this International Good Practice

Guidance (IGPG) support the application of judgment in providing good decision support. In

turn, this calls for the professional accountant in business to clearly understand why cost

information is to be used. costing continuum.


Deficiency in laws under various geographies:


UK company Law 2006

Accounting Records:


386 Duty to keep accounting records

(1) Every company must keep adequate accounting records.

(2) Adequate accounting records means records that are sufficient—

(a) to show and explain the company’s transactions,

(b) to disclose with reasonable accuracy, at any time, the financial position

of the company at that time, and

(c) to enable the directors to ensure that any accounts required to be

prepared comply with the requirements of this Act (and, where

applicable, of Article 4 of the IAS Regulation).

(3) Accounting records must, in particular, contain—

(a) entries from day to day of all sums of money received and expended by

the company and the matters in respect of which the receipt and

expenditure takes place, and

(b) a record of the assets and liabilities of the company.

(4) If the company’s business involves dealing in goods, the accounting records

must contain—

(a) statements of stock held by the company at the end of each financial

year of the company,

(b) all statements of stocktakings from which any statement of stock as is

mentioned in paragraph (a) has been or is to be prepared, and

(c) except in the case of goods sold by way of ordinary retail trade,

statements of all goods sold and purchased, showing the goods and the

buyers and sellers in sufficient detail to enable all these to be identified.


Australia Corporations act 2001

Part 2M.2Financial records

286 Obligation to keep financial records

(1)  A company, registered scheme or disclosing entity must keep written financial records that:

(a)  correctly record and explain its transactions and financial position and performance; and

(b)  would enable true and fair financial statements to be prepared and audited.

The obligation to keep financial records of transactions extends to transactions undertaken as trustee.

Note:          Section 9 defines financial records.

Period for which records must be retained

(2)  The financial records must be retained for 7 years after the transactions covered by the records are completed.

Strict liability offences

(3)  An offence based on subsection (1) or (2) is an offence of strict liability.

Note:          For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code.


United states

California Code for corporations:


SECTION 1500-1512

1500.  Each corporation shall keep adequate and correct books and
records of account


This report shall contain a balance

sheet as of the end of that fiscal year and an income statement and a

statement of cashflows for that fiscal year, accompanied by any

report thereon of independent accountants or, if there is no report,

the certificate of an authorized officer of the corporation that the

statements were prepared without audit from the books and records of

the corporation.



209. Books of account to be kept by company.—

1[(1) Every company shall keep at its registered office proper books of account with respect to—

(a) all sums of money received and expended by the company and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure take place;

(b) all sales and purchases of goods by the company; 2[***]

(c) the assets and liabilities of the company; 3[and]

3[(d) in the case of a company pertaining to any class of companies engaged in production, processing, manufacturing or mining activities, such particulars relating to utilisation of material or labour or to other items of cost as may be prescribed if such class of companies is required by the Central Government to include such particulars in the books of account:]

Provided that all or any of the books of account aforesaid may be kept at such other place in India as the Board of directors may decide and when the Board of directors so decides, the company shall, within seven days of the decision, file with the Registrar a notice in writing giving the full address of that other place.]


Thus there is an urgent need to address the concerns of governance through- ethics transperancy and a good measurement tool that lay in implementation of a cost accounting system mandated across the globe by different geography to supplement the reporting mechanism of business processes.

Is risk management a part of performance management?

Monday, October 4th, 2010

This is a guest post by Mr.Gary Cokins. Gary Cokins CPIM is Global Product Marketing Manager for Performance Management at SAS,  the world’s leader in business intelligence, and analytical software.  He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, and author.

A popular acronym is GRC — for governance, risk, and compliance. One can consider governance (G) as the stewardship of executives to behave in a responsible way, such as providing a safe work environment or formulating an effective strategy, and consider compliance (C) as operating under laws and regulations. Risk management (R), the third element of GRC, is the element more associated with enterprise performance management.
Governance and compliance awareness from government legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II is clearly on the minds of all executives. Accountability and responsibility can no longer be evaded. If executives err on compliance, they can go to jail. As a result, internal audit controls have been beefed up.
The “R” in GRC has characteristics similar to those of performance management. The foundations for both risk management and performance management share two beliefs:
1. The less uncertainty there is about the future, the better.

2. If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. If you cannot mange it, you cannot improve it.
A strong case can be made that risk management is a subset under the much broader umbrella of enterprise performance management. An example is Lora Bentley’s blog, “Risk Management Should Be Part of Strategic Planning, Performance Management.”
Performance management is typically perceived too narrowly as just better financial reporting and a bunch of dashboard dials. It is much broader and is better defined as the integration of multiple methodologies (e.g., strategy maps, customer relationship management, activity-based costing), with each methodology embedded with business analytics such as segmentation analysis, and especially predictive analytics. Their collective purpose is to achieve the strategy and to ebable better decisions. (I describe this in my book, Performance Management – Integrating Strategy Execution, Methodologies, Risk, and Analytics.)
Risk management is not about minimizing an organization’s risk exposure. Quite to the contrary, it is all about exploiting risk for maximum competitive advantage. A risky business strategy and plan always carry high prices. Effective risk management practices are comprehensive in recognizing and evaluating all potential risks and determining the balance in an organization’s risk appetite. Its goal is less volatility, greater predictability, fewer surprises, and arguably most important, the ability to bounce back quickly after a risk event occurs.
A simple view of risk is that more things can happen than will happen. If an organization can devise probabilities of possible outcomes, then it can consider how it will deal with surprises – outcomes that are different from what they expect. They can evaluate the consequences of being wrong in their expectations. In short, risk management is about dealing in advance with the consequences of being wrong. ###