Charities urged to appoint specialist risk auditors

Charities should appoint risk managers to coordinate their risk strategies at all levels of their operation, according to a sector expert.

Speaking in advance of a third sector risk seminar, Oliver Boyle, chairman of the Institute of Risk Management's charities' special interest group, told Third Sector: "Just as some companies have internal auditors, charities need to have internal risk managers to work through their organisations from executive level right into the field."

Boyle said he accepted that the role of overseeing risk management was usually within the finance director's remit, but added that it was broad enough to justify a specific staff member.

"Risk management could be done by the finance director, but some risk issues spread into human resources and volunteer management, which go beyond the scope of finance," Boyle said.

In response to potential criticisms that appointing an extra employee would add to operating costs, Boyle said: "If you understand your risks, you understand your business and you're in a better position to look after your organisation."

"I think that we have reached a point at which many charities are bombarded with advice on what they should do, and they can feel like rabbits trapped in the headlights.

"We all hear a lot about risk registers, but the issue is for charities to understand collectively what the risks are and to come up with appropriate solutions."

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