Below I have provided a link to a pdf of my updated Audit Committee Guide, 172 pages, includes a SSARS 21 discussion, dated Oct. 24, 2015. Please do pass the guide to anyone who would be interested. And I will continue to update and add to the guide in the future. Here is the link to the Guide, Tate’s Excellent Audit Committee Guide 10242015
I recently moderated an address by Andrew Fastow, the former CFO of Enron, and followed up by delivering a keynote on the role of the board in ethics, tying in aspects of Mr. Fastow’s speech. What f
Click on the following link for the article: listedmag.com
Dave Tate, Esq. comments. I usually don’t find lists useful – there are just too many of them that lack detail. For unknown reason, nevertheless, I decided to real this article by Richard Leblanc. I recommend that you also read the article, at least for the purpose of stimulating serious thought. You might also consider providing the article to your executive officers, board, audit committee, internal audit and legal counsel.
“Ethics” is kind of one of those vague areas that lacks specifics. It is easier to focus on prudent business judgment (including the business judgment rule) and legal and regulatory mandatory requirements. Factually, Richard’s 10 points actually do that, but under the heading of “ethics.” Also consider the comments at various of the 10 areas about the need for independent evaluation and representation, the ability to obtain independent outside assistance, and the use, oversight and hiring of the internal audit function – these comments are all very worthwhile for consideration.
Thank you for reading. Dave Tate, Esq., San Francisco and throughout California, civil, trust, estate, conservatorship and elder abuse litigation, and contentious administrations, blogs: http://directorofficernews.com and http://californiaestatetrust.com
The following link is to my Audit Committee Guide, updated September 2, 2015, to include additional internal audit materials and links, 139 pages in total. Please read and pass this material to anyone who would be interested, Tate’s Excellent Audit Committee Guide 09022015
Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco/California)
Blog, D&O, Audit Committee, Risk Management and Compliance: http://directorofficernews.com
Blog, Trust, Estate, Conservatorship & Elder Abuse Litigation: http://californiaestatetrust.com
Click on the link at the bottom of this post for a pdf of the completed initial edition of Tate’s Excellent Audit Committee Guide 08042015. The guide is for boards and audit committees of public companies, private companies, nonprofits, and governmental entities. This edition of the guide is 115 pages, plus links to additional resources and materials. The guide is updated regularly as new developments occur, and developments will also be posted to this blog. Please do tell other people about the guide and pass it along. Enjoy, and best to you.
Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco/California)
Click on the following link for the guide: Tate’s Excellent Audit Committee Guide 08042015
Several influential organizations have issued External Auditor Assessment Tool, A Reference for Audit Committees Worldwide. Here is a link to a PDF of the Tool auditor_assessment_tool_worldwide.
The tool is presented by the NACD, NYSE Governance Services, the Center for Audit Quality, the Independent Directors Council, the Association of Audit Committee Members, and Tapestry Networks. And that is why, i.e., because of the stature of the presenting organizations, this document has or will present a standard of care, i.e., a standard in the relevant community, for audit committees on the topics that the tool covers.
Every audit committee member of a public company needs to read, digest and understand this document (it’s not very long – basically 10 pages in length and large type font). On its face the document provides sample questions and issues for audit committees to discuss and consider when assessing their organization’s external auditor. But the document provides more – as you analyze the questions and issues, they present sample questions and issues that the external auditor needs to have satisfied and that the audit committee needs to oversee.
Consider for example the following sample questions:
1. Did the lead audit partner discuss the audit plan and how it addressed company/sector-specific areas of accounting and audit risk (including fraud risk) with the audit committee? Well . . . did this occur and in what detail?
2. During the audit, did the auditor meet the agreed-upon performance criteria as reflected in the engagement letter and audit plan? So . . . did the audit satisfy for example the applicable Statements on Auditing Standards?
3. In private sessions, did the auditor discuss sensitive issues candidly and professionally?
4. Did the auditor adequately discuss the quality of the company’s financial reporting, including the reasonableness of accounting estimates and Judgments?
5. Were there any significant differences in views between management and the auditor?
6. Is the external auditor responsive and communicative (e.g., by soliciting input relative to business risks or issues that might impact the audit plan, identifying and resolving issues in a timely fashion, and adapting to changing risks quickly)?
7. Does the external auditor proactively identify opportunities and risks (e.g., by anticipating and providing insights and approaches for potential business issues, bringing appropriate expertise to bear, and by identifying meaningful alternatives and discussing their impacts)?
And the suggested questions and issues continue.
Although many of these suggested questions and issues already are covered in various Statements on Auditing Standards, how often do you hear Statements on Auditing Standards discussed in the context of audit committee responsibilities? They have been in my published materials for years (including for example, many audit committee guideline and evaluation discussion papers; Audit Committee Functions and Responsibilities, Chapter 5A for the California Continuing Education of the Bar publication, Advising and Defending Corporate Directors and Officers (October 2007); and Accounting and Its Legal Implications, A Guide for Managers, Business Owners, and Entrepreneurs (Irwin Professional Publishing, Business One 1994).
This audit committee assessment tool, presented by high-stature organizations, puts the spotlight on the topics that the document discusses. Some people will think this is good, and some will think it is bad. Some people will believe that the document goes too far, and other people will identify the many questions and issues that it does not cover. Nevertheless, most of these questions and issues have already existed for years.
Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco/California), http://directorofficernews.com
This blog post includes a short video discussing the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s May 2015, Audit Committee Dialogue, and below the video you will find a link to the Audit Committee Dialogue. Please pass this blog post to everyone would be interested in these materials. Thank you. Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California).
Click on the following link for the PCAOB’s May 2015, Audit Committee Dialogue, Click Here.