Inherent Risk

What is Inherent Risk?

Inherent Risk can be defined as the probability of financial statement being defective due to error, omission or misstatement which occur due to factors beyond the control or which cannot be controlled with the help of internal controls. Examples include non-recording of the transaction by an employee, segregating of duties to reduce risk of control but at the same time collusion of employees/stakeholders for malafide intentions.

Types of Inherent Risk

Examples of Inherent Risk


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#1 – Human Intervention

As discussed in the above-stated points, no human can always be perfect like machines. There are chances of error in some activities out of multiple activates performed or the same action multiple times. For example, there are chances of non-recording of purchase transaction from a vendor having multiple transactions or recording of the same with the wrong amount.

#2 – Business Relations/Frequent Meetings

Sometimes frequent meetings and repeated engagements may lead to personal relationships with auditors,s which may lead to the creation of personal relationships. This may not be in the interest of the organization. Also, frequent engagement of auditorsEngagement Of AuditorsAn auditor is a professional appointed by an enterprise for an independent analysis of their accounting records and financial statements. An auditor issues a report about the accuracy and reliability of financial statements based on the country's local operating more may lead to laxity or overconfidence.

#3 – Assumption/Judgement Based Accounting

Although Accounting standards provide detailed accounting methods, policies for recording/ reporting of transactions, but there are still grey areas where organizations have to make an assessment based on judgments, assumptions. This may vary based on organizations that create a gap for risk.

#4 – Complexity of Organisational Structure

Many organization grows complex in structure due to the formation and existence of a large number of subsidiaries, holdings, joint ventures, associates, etc. This creates the complexity of recording reporting transactions between these companies.

#5 – Non – Routine Transactions

Sometimes it may happen where the organization needs to record a transaction that does not occur in routine or repeatedly. It can lead to an error because of a lack of knowledge or inaccurate knowledge.

Important Points about Inherent Risk

Due to growing innovations, changes in technology, changing business model chances of inherent risk affecting an organization’s financial statement have also increased. Following are some of the significant affecting changes:

  • Changing Business Models: Frequent changes in business models create complexities of recording, reporting of new transactions, and as a result, there are increased probabilities of the financial statement being misleading due to inherent risk involved in new business models.
  • Increased Technology Innovations: Every organization is affected by growing technology. An organization needs to adapt itself according to changes taking place; otherwise, it is its infrastructure may become obsolete and may lead to the risk of wrong/incorrect/misleading information, etc.
  • Difficulty in Adopting Changing Statutory Norms: Every day, there are growing complexities among businesses to adopt changes in statutory regulations, norms. Noncompliance with which results in penalties and fines. Every organization needs to be updated about such changes taking place otherwise may face penalties from government departments.
  • Reduced Manual Intervention: With the increasing technological interventions, human intervention is reducing. Robotics technology is performing tasks previously performed by human beings. This results in reduced human errors, as in the case of robotic automation, the program needs to be installed once. After that, it performs the same transaction repeatedly without any error.


Inherent risk occurs in the financial statement is due to factors beyond the control of an accountant and is the result of error, omission, or misstatement of financial transactions. With the changing business models, growing technological innovations, statutory norms inherent risk of the financial statement being misleading is also increasing.

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