The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

To help executives plan for 2017 and beyond, Grant Thornton LLP, the US member firm of Grant Thornton International, deployed the Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Survey in early 2016. GRC typically isn’t focused on a specific organizational department, but instead is a collaboration of many roles and functions (e.g. legal, audit committee, internal audit, finance, compliance). The GRC Survey assessed the management of GRC activities and processes across roles and functions. Some survey results of note are shown in the table below.

Despite the concern of executives, their ability to monitor, measure, and mitigate these risks falls short. For example, although 60 percent of executives report that cybersecurity risk is significant, only 43 percent measure and monitor it effectively; and just 46 percent are effective at mitigation.



Oddly enough, many risks that don’t particularly worry executives (e.g. tax, litigation) receive substantial management attention. Conversely, perceived risks that don’t particularly worry executives are possibly underestimated. The results require leaders to reconsider risk assessment. Besides, the significance of a given risk depends on the business and organization. For example, risks for global expansion should be high compared with domestic business.

Leaders may want to review how GRC resources are deployed in order to:

  • Balance investment versus threat levels
  • Share practices and resources from areas that are currently effective with those in need of assistance
  • Coordinate risk perspectives throughout the organization (i.e. minimize siloed application of risk management)
  • Confirm that risks are rated appropriately, and receive corresponding levels of monitoring and awareness
  • Compare risk practices and performance metrics against industry benchmarks



Toru Shirai is a senior manager at the Tokyo office of Grant Thornton Japan, where he provides assurance services to multinational companies. When he was seconded to Grant Thornton’s Chicago office for three years (2012–2015), he also supported cross-border business expansion. Shirai has 15 years of experience in public accounting and specializes in ICT
and manufacturing.

For more information, please contact your Grant Thornton representative at +81 (0)3 5770 8829 or email us at