Risk Management and Accounting in Firms’ Response to Global Risk Challenges

Open for submissions 1 October 2024


Risk - and associated ideas such as uncertainty, crises, and resilience - are more prominent now than ever. Major risks and crises in the world today are, inter alia, associated with environmental catastrophes, geopolitical tensions, increasing inequalities, health crises, food insecurity, and cyber insecurity (World Economic Forum, 2023). The prominence of these risks has drawn increasing attention to sustainability, corporate governance, and risk management frameworks. Hence, a major evolution in the 2023 G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance (OECD, 2023) is the new Chapter on “Sustainability and resilience” which reflects the growing challenges corporations face in managing climate-related and other sustainability risks and opportunities. The 2023 G20/OECD Principles explicitly assign a central role to boards of directors to ensure the effective implementation of risk management systems in organisations, which in turn may contribute to their sustainability and resilience. More broadly, sound risk governance and risk management systems could support companies, ex-ante, in the event of a crisis and enable the development of crisis management processes to manage a sudden negative event, ex-post. 

Risk has always been fundamental to accountants both in management accounting and financial reporting fields. Risk assessment is central to budgeting, investment appraisal and auditing. One accounting risk-related topic that has received a greater level of attention recently is that of corporate risk disclosure (CRD). Since the pioneering work of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD, 2020), the EU Commission and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation have introduced new disclosure requirements to encourage certain risk reporting practices associated with sustainable business behaviour. For instance, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (Directive 2022/2464) requires all large companies and all listed companies to disclose information on what they see as the risks and opportunities arising from social and environmental issues, and on the impact of their activities on people and the environment. Accounting research, building on different frameworks, has increased our understanding of why companies disclose risk information. A main concern in this literature is related to the consequences of CRD, namely whether CRD is useful to investors and market participants. For instance, extant empirical research has documented some beneficial informative effects derived from the disclosure of risk factors in US annual filings (e.g., Kravet and Muslu, 2013; Campbell et al., 2014; Lyle, Riedl, Siano, 2023). Yet, direct examination of stakeholder needs and their usage of risk information in respect of sustainability is still needed, along with the need to know what the real effects of the new disclosure regulations and mandates are.  

Accounting perspectives remain fundamental in other fields of risk management-oriented studies and are not confined to CRD practices. In the last thirty years, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) has become the dominant framework and, therefore, has been studied by researchers in numerous countries. Research has provided significant insights into why organisations embrace ERM and whether the latter may affect a firm value. Results on the determinants of firm decisions to embrace ERM highlight that ERM adopters are larger and have greater earnings volatility and leverage (Pagach and Warr, 2011). Prior studies also suggest that an integrated, holistic ERM approach to risk management systems can be used to create shareholder value (Hoyt & Liebenberg, 2011). This positive effect of ERM on firm value is conditional on micro-environment, industry competition, firm complexity, and board monitoring (Gordon, Loab and Tseng, 2009). In a similar vein, other research documents a positive relationship between ERM implementation and firms’ profitability (Florio and Leoni, 2017) and between market participants' reactions to ERM adoption announcements (Beasley, Pagach and Warr, 2008).  

In sum, the extant research confirms that CRD is useful to market participants and that ERM is beneficial in helping companies manage risks and opportunities successfully. However, there remains a paucity of research about the role of CRD, risk management and accounting in light of today's global challenges. For example, under-investigated areas include:  What are stakeholder needs for sustainability risk reporting and how will this information be used?  Can ERM be helpful in the identification and evaluation of sustainability risks? What is the role of accountants in managing today’s highly challenging risks?  

Therefore, this special issue that debates the role of risk governance and accounting with regards to  the responses of firm to global risk challenges is important as it enables us to reflect on the nature of the risks faced today, to think about how they might be accounted for, governed, mitigated and to consider how they might impact companies and society.       

List of potential topic areas (please note the importance of bringing an accounting perspective) 

  • The role of accountants in managing risk  

  • Internal and external auditors and risk management 

  • Disclosure of risk information 

  • Corporate governance and globally important risks 

  • Enterprise-wide risk management (ERM) and accounting fraud 

  • Enterprise-wide risk management (ERM) maturity and firm performance 

  • Internal and external forces affecting ERM performance 

  • Accountants, risk culture and risk appetite 

  • Artificial Intelligence and risk management 

  • Identification, analysis and treatment of globally important risks 

Key dates  

  • Closing date for submissions: 31 December 2024 

  • Expected publication date of special issue: early in 2026 

All submissions should be made using the journal’s online system (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/medar), choosing this special issue during submission. The journal's Author Guidelines can be found at https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/medar.


Beasley, M., Pagach, D., & Warr, R. (2008). Information Conveyed in Hiring Announcements of Senior Executives Overseeing Enterprise-Wide Risk Management Processes. Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance. 23(3), 311-332.  

Campbell, J., Chen, H., Dhaliwal, D. S., Lu, H., & Logan, S. (2014). The information content of mandatory risk factor disclosures in corporate filings. Review of Accounting Studies, 19(1), 396-455. 

Florio C., and Leoni G. (2017). Enterprise risk management and firm performance: The Italian case. The British Accounting Review, 49(1), 56-74.  

Gordon, L.A., Loeb, M.P. and Tseng, C.-Y. (2009). Enterprise Risk Management and Firm Performance: A Contingency Perspective. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 28, 301-327. 

Hoyt, R E. and Liebenberg  A. P. (2011). The Value of Enterprise Risk Management. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 78(4), 795-822.  

OECD (2023), G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance 2023, OECD Publishing, Paris, Available at: https://doi.org/10.1787/ed750b30-en. 

Kravet, T., & Muslu, V. (2013). Textual risk disclosures and investors’ risk perceptions. Review of Accounting Studies, 18, 1088–1122. 

Lyle M. R., Riedl E. J., Siano F. Changes in Risk Factor Disclosures and the Variance Risk Premium. The Accounting Review, 98(6), 327-352.  

Pagach D. & Warr R, (2011). An empirical investigation of the characteristics of firms hiring chief risk officers. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 78(1), 185-211.  

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (2020), Guidance on Risk Management Integration and Disclosure.  

World Economic Forum (2023) The Global Risks Report 2023,  Available at: https://www.weforum.org/reports/globalrisks-report-2023/.