Difference between Inherent Risk and Control Risk

No matter how small, medium, or huge the business deal is, there is always some risk involved. Internal controls should be implemented to mitigate these threats. An error, omission, or unplanned event that might result in monetary loss is an example of risk.

An auditor may issue inaccurate views on a company's financial accounts. Despite laws requiring all publicly listed corporations to publish accurate, relevant information about the current and future position of the business, this remains the case. There are three ways to classify these threats: those that are inherent, those that can be managed, and those that can be discovered.

What is an Inherent Risk?

Due to a lack of oversight, the financial statements include materially misleading information that was left out or incorrectly recorded. In cases when extensive estimation or judgment is required, this occurs at a more advanced level.

Here are a few things that might magnify the severity of inherent risks −

  • The inability of a firm to adapt to the ever-changing conditions of modern commerce.

  • A system for keeping track of intricate business dealings, such as when a parent corporation gathers data from its many branches in preparation for a merger.

  • Dishonesty and lack of integrity on the part of firm management, as demonstrated through unethical behavior.

  • A lack of fairness or insufficiency in auditing, whereby auditors knowingly fail to detect fraud.

  • When two closely connected businesses engage in a transaction, there is a greater risk that one or both would inflate or understate the worth of the financial assets exchanged.

The inherent risk is the terrifying aspect of an audit because it implies that all of the safeguards meant to be in place have failed.

What is a Control Risk?

Inaccurate financial statement reporting poses this risk, and it may be linked back to weaknesses in the company's internal controls. In the event of a severe failure in internal controls, a corporation can declare a profit while, in reality, it has incurred losses that were simply not caught.

The top management of a company should be the ones to keep an internal controls system updated, designed, and implemented. Even if it may be difficult for a company to maintain a completely functional internal control system, this remains true. The systems responsible for internal controls must thus be reviewed often.

A rise in control risks for a company might occur as a result of the following −

  • Lack of capacity to allocate tasks to available employees

  • Lack of thorough verification of documents and deals

  • Non-open procedures for choosing vendors

  • The management team wasn't involved in signing off on the documents.

Differences − Inherent Risk and Control Risk

The following table highlights how an Inherent Risk is different from a Control Risk −

Characteristics Inherent Risk Control Risk


Potential material misstatement in the financial statements due to an omission or mistake that is not the result of a loss of control is what is meant by the term "inherent risks."

To put it simply, "control risk" is the danger that a company's financial statements are misleading because of flaws in its internal controls.


Inherent risk is unavoidable.

Internal controls that are both effective and efficient can help mitigate or even eliminate control risk.


The phrase "inherent risks" refers to the probability of a material misrepresentation happening in the financial statements due to an omission or an error that is not the result of a control failure.

In contrast, the chance that a company's financial statements are erroneous due to weaknesses in the company's internal controls is what is meant by the term "control risk." There are differences between the two methods, but both are used to control the dangers of an audit.