Audit committee effectiveness

Given the scope of responsibilities of audit committees, their agendas are often overflowing. Careful prioritization and planning are critical to enable the committee to fulfill its responsibility to provide effective oversight.

In addition to putting processes in place to fulfill the requirements and recommendations noted in the previous sections, audit committees often implement certain practices to help them operate more effectively. Some of these leading practices are described in this section. These recommendations are not all-inclusive, and certain activities discussed in this section may be the responsibility of the full board or another committee.

Audit committees can also consider insights contained in the Audit Committee Practices Report, a collaborative effort between Deloitte and the Center for Audit Quality to provide information related to issues audit committees are facing and how peers may be responding. The survey results and related analysis can serve as a benchmarking resource for audit committees to gauge their own practices.

Preparing for meetings

Audit committee meetings should be held at least quarterly, and more frequently if necessary, to provide adequate time and attention to important matters. Maintaining a committee calendar to identify topics that should be covered at each meeting can help confirm that required matters are addressed in the appropriate time frame. Using meeting time effectively is important to provide appropriate oversight. Audit committees can take several measures to prepare for meetings and promote effective use of meeting time.

Managing meetings

Meetings are a critical means to achieve the interaction and collaboration that are essential for audit committees to operate effectively. Audit committees can optimize their use of meeting time by encouraging discussion and engagement during meetings and by making appropriate use of executive sessions.

Beyond meetings

Not all audit committee activities occur in the context of regularly scheduled meetings. Audit committee members can be engaged between meetings in several areas to fulfill their responsibilities.


Get in touch

Managing Director, Audit Committee Program Leader

Center for Board Effectiveness

Deloitte & Touche LLP

+1 646 912 4381

National Managing Partner

Center for Board Effectiveness

Deloitte & Touche LLP

+1 313 919 5865

Managing Director, Audit & Assurance Governance


Center for Board Effectiveness

Deloitte & Touche LLP

+1 917 301 6036

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