Audit Committee Resource Guide
Deloitte’s Audit Committee Resource Guide helps audit committee members and management better understand the requirements, roles, and responsibilities of the audit committee.
Whether you are a seasoned or new audit committee member, there are many considerations to keep in mind as you carry out your oversight responsibilities. To help you understand what is expected of audit committee members, and what you can expect from serving on the audit committee, the Audit Committee Resource Guide presents an overview of the requirements, common practices, and considerations for US public companies. An overview of the Audit Committee Resource Guide, as well as links to supporting tools and resources, are below.
Section One: Audit Committee Leading Practices and Trends
Today’s audit committee agendas are full and require careful planning to ensure the committee is focusing on key priorities. Many committees have implemented certain practices to help them stay on track and more effectively carry out their oversight responsibilities.
Section Two: Audit Committee Essentials
Periodically, audit committees should review their composition and membership to confirm that they encompass the knowledge and experience needed to be effective. In addition to industry knowledge, committee members should be “financially literate” and have a strong grasp of financial reporting and accounting issues. Audit committees should also conduct an annual review of the charter and continuously maintain and review the independence of audit committee members.
Section Three: Key Responsibilities
While the audit committee’s key responsibilities vary by company, they may include oversight of the following: financial reporting, fraud and internal control over financial reporting, earnings press releases, the internal auditors, risk assessment, the code of ethics, and complaint helpline procedures.
- Heads Up: Challenges and Leading Practices Related to Implementing COSO’s Internal Control-Integrated Framework
- Audit Committee Brief: The 2013 COSO Framework and the Audit Committee
- The Anti-Fraud Collaboration’s The Fraud-Resistant Organization: Tools, Traits and Techniques to Deter and Detect Financial Reporting Fraud
- Audit Committee Brief Internal Audit: Moving Beyond Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance
- Risk Intelligent Governance: Lessons from State-of-the-Art Board Practices
- Risk Committee Resource Guide for Boards
Center for Board Effectiveness Resources:
Section Four: Interaction with the Independent Auditor
Audit committees of listed companies are directly responsible for the appointment, compensation, and oversight of the independent auditor, including the resolution of any disagreements with management. It is optimal for the audit committee, management, the internal auditors, and the independent auditor to work together in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation.
- The Audit Committee Collaboration’s Enhancing the Audit Committee Report: A Call to Action A Call to Action
- The Center for Audit Quality and Audit Analytics: Audit Committee Transparency Barometer Barometer
- Audit Committee Brief A New Era in Audit Committee Reporting
- Appointing, Assessing, and Compensating the Independent Auditor: The Role of the Audit Committee
- The Audit Committee Collaboration's Audit Committee Annual Evaluation of the External Auditor
Section Five: Education and Evaluation
The NYSE listing standards require board education to be addressed in the company‘s corporate governance guidelines. Boards and audit committees should use a needs-based approach to determine the specific topics in a continuing education program. Additionally, the NYSE listing standards require audit committees to perform an annual performance evaluation, and this responsibility must be set forth in the audit committee’s charter.
Center for Board Effectiveness Resources:
Section Six: Additional Responsibilities
Deloitte discusses additional responsibilities from the NYSE and NASDAQ listing standards and additional authority to the audit committee granted by the SEC.
Supporting tools to help audit committees carry out their responsibilities are provided.