Country risk comprises the various risks of investing in a foreign country that can lead to either investment impairments or reductions in returns on investment (ROI). Investment impairments may arise from confiscatory actions by a sovereign (e.g., nationalization of the business or expropriation of assets). ROI reductions may arise from discriminatory actions by a sovereign directed to the company, a targeted industry (say, energy or banking) or companies from certain countries (e.g., additional taxation, price or production controls, exchange controls, currency manipulation, expansion controls, performance requirements and other regulations). Both may arise from destructive or disruptive acts by others (e.g., violence, terrorism, war, strikes, infrastructure deficiencies, kidnappings or physical phenomena). The primary objective of managing country risk is to protect company investments in foreign markets and sustain acceptable investment returns.
In more than 20 years of experience as an auditor, I have had the good fortune to go on audit assignments and client meetings throughout the U.S. and in many countries of the world. Some trips were spectacular, landing me in the midst of great cities like New York, New Orleans and San Francisco. Others, however, put me in danger zones amidst civil war and natural disaster. If you’re a well-heeled auditor like me, you’ll appreciate the stories and advice I share in this article. If you have ever dreamed of getting that plum auditing role that includes travel, take note: it isn’t always what you imagined it to be. This article will help you understand the pros and cons of the traveling auditor’s life.
Topics: Protiviti, information technology risk, Hot Issues, internal audit, Cross-border & Non-US issues, audit, project management, travel, audit assignments, network & internet security, Paul Pettit
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