Common RCSA Challenges and the Proactive Mindset and Platform to Fix Them


Written by: Vince Dour

Reviewed by:
Updated: January 10, 2023

Table of contents

Completing RCSAs (Risk and Control Self Assessments) and presenting their results to the Board and key stakeholders can leave GRC professionals pulling their hair out.

At LogicGate, we understand that this scenario probably sounds too close to home for many who work with risk assessments. As a former financial services risk consultant, I spent years helping everyone from top-5 US Banks to regional speciality financial firms navigate the RCSA process to deliver holistic views into their risk environments and complete it efficiently. One thing that was always true, was that when the periodic process took too long to complete each time, the stakeholders could get burnt out and not take the process seriously enough. 

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way? There's a more effortless way to perform RCSAs by automating many of the manual processes.

In this blog post I’ll provide some of the most common RCSA challenges, the proactive mindset needed to change how companies look at risk, and share how a platform like Risk Cloud can centralize your data and tasks and make stakeholder reporting a breeze.

What Are RCSAs

The RCSA process’ goal is to identify and evaluate risks and their associated controls. RCSAs use risk management practices to:

  • Identify and prioritize business goals
  • Assess and manage risk areas
  • Evaluate controls effectiveness
  • Create risk action plans
  • Ensure risks are identified and evaluated consistently across all areas of an organization

RCSAs Take A Lot of Manual, Siloed Work

Many organizations may have a mature risk program up and running and think they understand relationships, but what they don't have is true insight. Complex organizations like this are often made up of little departmental fiefdoms that concentrate only on their particular risks and controls, day in and day out.

Each department is usually working from a single spreadsheet that is manually updated by many hands. Not only does this add significant time and version control worries, but the process is also myopic because no one has any visibility into risks outside their department. This means there is no real sense of an organization's total risk landscape for risk owners. 

Companies can easily miss out on interrelated risks because they do not have a holistic view of their risk environment. For example, a risk’s financial impact may get pointed out, but without consulting all parties, the legal impact could be missed.

The Proactive Risk Mindset

Companies need to change the way they approach risk. Using a proactive risk management mindset lets companies save the time it takes to figure out where they are and allows them to work directly on strategic initiatives instead.

The first step is to set up baseline information to build frameworks that connect everything into a complete risk picture. A great starting point to combating decentralized processes, manual, and repetitive work is to answer the following questions:

Warning: Asking these questions will expose many organizational flaws and problems, so prepare your courage and confidence and know that it will improve things.

  • How does each identified risk affect the whole organization vs. individual departments?
  • How are we going to prioritize them?
  • How are we going to mitigate these risks?
  • How do we profit from them?
  • Who tackles what risk?
  • How does the Board want to see these risks and plans communicated?

Risk Cloud Cures the RCSA Blues

Risk Cloud's modern user interface and automation can help companies be proactive and centralize processes more efficiently. Risk Cloud also gives you a holistic view to better understand how risks are connected and how you can better manage them.

Risk Cloud allows GRC professionals to:

  • Save time by breaking down the silos between departments
  • Improve communication
  • Create a culture of proactive risk
  • Get away from siloed and manual processes and tools
  • Track and automate tasks
  • See how one control can be linked and associated with the whole organizational risk view
  • Get risks ranked with their corresponding corrective actions
  • Produce better reporting
  • Gain better visibility and understanding of risks mapping
  • Communicate the real risk story and its potential rewards to the Board

To learn more about Risk Cloud and how our Enterprise Risk Management and Controls Management Applications can help you with your next RCSA, visit us at and request a demo.

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