Zions Bancorporation ( www.zionsbancorporation.com ) established three goals with respect to risk management and internal control: (1) enablethe company to better manage risk and reduce loss, (2) strengthen customer service and shareholder value, and (3) meet a variety of regulatory requirements. According to Stone (2003), Zions “decided to deploy a Web-based risk assessment system as part
of its enterprise risk management efforts.” The company assembled a cross-functional
team to define system requirements and establish an overall approach for managing
risk. The bank’s risk management system is Web-based, allowing the company to share
data easily and develop a ‘robust risk culture within the organization in which business
liens would work proactively to identify, assess and manage risk within the
The company embarked on a four-step process for identifying, assessing, and managing
risk: (a) identify business objectives and related risks, (b) list and assess the
strength of controls, (c) determine actions needed to close control gaps, and (d) ensure
accountability and sustainability. Flowcharting is particularly important in the first
step of the process, where “users identify the business processes that [a particular]
risk impacts and attach a flowchart depicting the process.” In addition, accountants
can use a well-constructed flowchart to identify and correct internal control gaps.
Finally, in Zion’s system, a user can search for risks and related internal controls based
on business processes depicted in flowcharts.
a. What kind(s) of flowchart(s) would be useful to Zions? Explain your response.
b. Consider the four-step risk management process. Identify three to five symbols you would
use to create a flowchart of that process; explain your choices.
c. Visit Zions’ Web site. Create a risk/control matrix for three risks they might experience.