Global Boardroom Insights: Audit Committee Workload – And My Comments

KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute asked audit committee chairs around the world for their views on the audit committee’s workload.

Click on the following link for the discussion: CLICK HERE.

My comments are as follows:

1. I’m not surprised that some audit committees are feeling work overload. It’s very important to look at the audit committee charter and to make sure that all stakeholders understand what the committee’s responsibilities are and are not.

2. Someone forgot to expressly mention internal audit in the summary introduction to the article. Or, internal audit is still fighting for importance. If I’m on an audit committee of a significant or middle significant size public company, or of a bank or other financial institution, I really want to have a fully operational and funded internal audit function that interacts with the audit committee.

3. The summary introduction also states: “Perhaps not surprisingly, our interviewees said risk will be a top priority in the year ahead and will require taking a hard look at the broader board’s risk oversight approach and the implications for the audit committee.”  Consider, to what extent is your audit committee responsible for risk management oversight? Is there agreement between the stakeholders about just what that means and requires?  Are your audit committee members qualified?  It would have been better if the “hard look” had already been made or started.  Risk management is a board responsibility. It’s okay to delegate to a qualified audit committee with reporting back to the board and board oversight, but the board needs to have its act together on risk management.

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco / California)

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