Audit committee role guide

A comprehensive ready reckoner

The audit committee is established with the aim of enhancing confidence in the integrity of an organisation's processes and procedures relating to internal control and corporate reporting including financial reporting. Audit Committee has thus become one of the main pillars of the corporate governance system in Indian public companies.

The audit committee is established with the aim of enhancing confidence in the integrity of an organisation's processes and procedures relating to internal control and corporate reporting including financial reporting. Audit Committee provides an ‘independent’ reassurance to the board through its oversight and monitoring role. Among many responsibilities the boards entrust the Audit Committee with are the transparency and accuracy of financial reporting and disclosures, effectiveness of external and internal audit functions, robustness of the systems of internal audit and internal controls, effectiveness of anti-fraud, ethics and compliance systems, review of the functioning of the whistleblower mechanism. Audit Committee may also play a significant role in the oversight of the company’s risk management policies and programs.

Audit Committee has thus become one of the main pillars of the corporate governance system in Indian public companies. In steering companies through today’s complex business environment, boards are going to need strong leadership from their audit committees. Expanding the field of vision, clearly defining who’s tracking the company’s risk radar, and taking a step back to re-evaluate its own performance are some of the important steps every Audit Committee should consider.

Risk Intelligent Chief Audit Executive - "Mission Possible"

For many CAEs in the 21st century, their department bears little resemblance to that of even five years ago. New regulatory pressures, increased scrutiny, accelerating risk, and intensifying competition pose critical challenges for today's CAE. This paper provides audit executives with practical guidance that relates directly to the challenges they face daily on a corporate, department, and individual level.

What is the quality of earnings?

Investors are certain to seek more information and ask more questions regarding the quality of financial reporting and a company’s financial condition. Because earnings are at the forefront of the investing public’s mind, this document focuses on how audit committee members, boards, management, and other financial statement users can better understand and assess the quality of earnings.

Risk intelligent IT internal auditor

In many organizations, IT IA drifts along with the same audit plan year after year: Auditing general computer controls. Checking the boxes. Performing systems work. Auditing Unix.
Chief audit executives and audit committees know that this mundane repetition grossly underutilizes IT IA’s unique talents, and they are looking for guidance to bring IT IA to life. This publication outlines a proactive approach that can help elevate IT IA.

Managing Related Party Transactions - A review of global practices

The document provides an illustrative list of some of the best practices in regard to communication practices and procedures for the audit committee and the external auditor.

Is your audit committee effective?

The audit committee is seen as a key fulcrum of any company. The responsibility for assessing effectiveness of the audit committee is thus assuming more and more importance. This document discusses some of the key factors in this regard.

Disclosure Compliance System - 7 Questions a director should ask

An effective disclosure compliance system is imperative in assisting directors to demonstrate due diligence in the fulfillment of their oversight responsibilities. The document provides some questions to help directors assess the disclosure compliance system.

Fraud response management, Is your organization prepared?

An effective Fraud Response Management program is designed to allow the organization to react to various types of fraud and misconduct allegations in a  measured and consistent manner. This document poses some pertinent questions about the preparedness of the organization to implement such a program.

Did you know these Fraud Schemes?

The document lists possible fraud schemes that can be utilized by management and auditors to assist in identifying possible fraud risks, scenarios, and schemes when performing or evaluating  management's fraud risk assessments.

Managing the Business Risk of Fraud: A Practical Guide

Current business trends stability, have increased both the pressures and the opportunities for fraud to occur. Additionally, organizations must respond to the heightened public and regulatory scrutiny, and the potential for reputational damage that follow fraud allegations. This article advises the organizations to take a fresh look at their fraud risk management practices.

Appointment of an External Auditor - Questions to ask

Clause 49 of the listing agreement with stock exchanges empowers the audit committee the authority to appoint, reappoint, replace or remove the external auditor. This document provides a number of questions that may be helpful to the audit committee in gathering useful information about the external auditor.

Quality of financial position, The balance sheet and beyond

The transparency of the financial statements and the quality of the financial position are critical in evaluating a company. With the media, analysts, investors, and government leaders all challenging companies’ integrity, there is a need for greater transparency in financial reporting, especially given the proliferation of complex, global business structures.

A Practical Approach - Risk Based Internal Controls

A top-down, risk-based approach is based on the premise that not all accounts, transactions, and risks are equally important. The document discusses this approach wherein companies need to focus control resources on the areas identified as being of greater risk.

Related Party Transactions and Minority Shareholder Rights

The report, based on the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance, focuses on the corporate governance framework that manages related party transactions with the aim to protect minority investors.  It covers over 30 jurisdictions, including in-depth reviews of Belgium, France, Israel, Italy and India.

Straight Talk - Smart Way to Manage Governance, Risk and Compliance

The smart way to manage governance, risk and compliance can yield positive results in  terms of:

• Sustainable cost reductions
• Improved risk management
• Quicker response opportunities
• More shareholder confidence

This article suggests nine ways you can start taking action today to develop an integrated approach to GRC.

All New Audit Committee and Board Committees - The Companies Act, 2013

The new Act casts additional responsibilities on the Audit Committee and other Board Committees. The document reviews the key additional provisions and its implication for the Boards and the Management. 

Financial, Sustainability and Governance Reporting- Managing the troika

This publication from the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) Yearbook 2011 discusses the role that the auditor should play in bringing together financial, sustainability, and governance reporting.
Posted with permission from the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), copyright 2011.

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