It’s an exciting time to join our team. As we work more closely with our international colleagues, there are new opportunities for our people to broaden their horizons.
Within RSM, risk assurance is designed to help our clients first of all to identify the risks that they face, if they haven’t done so. Secondly make sure they have adequate controls in place to manage those risks, or if they haven’t got adequate controls recommend improvements such as they can manage those risks. And, in the worst case, if the controls fail, help them deal with the consequences. There’s a whole range of different things which clients can fall over on – ranging from cyber (which everybody’s heard of at the moment!), through to compliance on various pieces of legislation such as anti money-laundering, bribery, corruption, or even corporate manslaughter. To deliver that we have a large team of people with a wide range of specialisms that provide advice to our clients, and generally speaking our clients are very happy with that because we help them to avoid the worst consequences of risk. If they can’t avoid them because it’s outside their control, they like us to help them deal with those consequences as quickly as possible.
Looking in to the future is never easy but certainly, sitting here today, there’s a number of things which have happened (not least Brexit), which are bound to give opportunities for our staff and our people to go and do interesting things – they manage to unpick and unravel that which is in place as a result of our EU membership, that is one example. Generally speaking any change in legislation gives us an opportunity, for example there’s a change in data protection legislation due to come down the tracks – again, quite exciting from our perspective, quite worrying for our clients but therefore opportunity for us. So at the legislative level, lots of opportunity. If one then looks at the strength of RSM International as a network, we’ve seen an increased amount of work coming in to our teams in London from the US, from the Far East, and from Greater Europe. That will certainly give us more opportunity to grow that part of our work. Alongside that, of course, means that hopefully we’ll be able to do desk swaps, move or staff between the US and the UK, or the UK and Europe, which gives them a great experience, and also gives us a better experience for the client – big growth in that I think. There are a number of other areas we have looked at quite closely and we do believe and going to grow rapidly for us: charities is one, particularly international charities where we are doing increasing amounts of work in Africa and Asia on behalf of people like the UN and the World Bank. Finally, I think the area where we will see more growth is financial services - because wherever there’s regulation, there’s worry, and there’s a need for our services.
For me, working in risk assurance can be summed up in one word in terms of what makes it attractive to me – and that is the word ‘variety’. There are two types of variety: one is the clients with whom we work, both geographically – we could be working in Manchester one week and Malawi the next – and also the nature of the clients, we work with universities, we work with colleges, we work with police forces, we work with large corporates, and increasingly we’re working with overseas aid organisations. No two organisations are the same and there’s massive varieties there for all staff.
Then within the work we do for our clients, we don’t just look at the numbers, we look at a whole range of different things – we look at IT systems, recruitment, finance, project management, project assurance, the list is endless. In essence, no two days could be (or should be) the same. The variety is there for everyone.