Motorcycles and Audit: Mitigating Risk on the Open Road

Motorcycles and Audit: Mitigating Risk on the Open Road

Watch the video below to learn how Rick Baltz, avid motorcyclist and VP of Internal Audit at Belden, applies what he’s learned in audit to manage risk on his Harley Davidson.

When you think about audit, a motorcycle cruising down the open road is likely not the first thing you picture. But Rick Baltz, Vice President of Internal Audit at Belden, sees a fundamental alignment between the risk mitigation he does in audit and while riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Rick Baltz, VP of Internal Audit at Belden, breaks down the similarities between risk mitigation in audit and while riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Rick has been riding since childhood, though while he was still learning to operate his first motorbike he had an accident that left a scar. When he bought a Harley Davidson as an adult, Rick applied what he learned about mitigating risk as a CPA and auditor. 

For Rick, it’s about taking a balanced approach to risk. If a person or organization manages all risks completely, they’ll find themselves stuck without any possibility of reward or growth. Of course there are risks associated with riding a motorcycle, but understanding those risks and knowing how to operate the motorcycle in a safe manner brings great rewards. “In motorcycle riding, obviously there’s lots of danger, and I like to call them disruptors,” says Rick. “Sometimes you’ll see a deer, a pothole, a car turning in front of you, but the way you manage that risk is really understanding how to ride that motorcycle appropriately.” If you’re looking ahead, you can get a lot of enjoyment out of riding a motorcycle and seeing the beautiful scenery.

Rick finds many parallels with how he approaches disruptors in business. It’s important for a forward-looking company to understand potential business disruptors, and to determine how to best manage those risks that could negatively impact the organization. Belden has an ERM process and a strategic plan process, and Rick’s internal audit team has a risk assessment process that is aligned with both. Internal audit at Belden leverages technology to keep a global team on track as it supports business objectives while also providing a good assurance outcome. By looking ahead to be aware of emerging risks, you can strike the right balance between risk and reward — whether in an internal audit role or on the seat of a Harley.