Directors review of Financial Accounts and External Auditor

Today, the AFR, the Chairman of ASIC, Mr Rod Medcraft made the following comments :

“Mr Medcraft put the onus on directors to contribute to audit quality by ensuring auditors receive reasonable fees and that auditor independence is protected. Price gouging is rampant in the industry, surpassing 2008 levels in the wake of the financial crisis.

(see http://www.afr.com/p/national/boards_must_drill_auditors_asic_8BSbDG724pNPUda4WWbysL – subscription required).

It is important that Directors (often through their Board Audit and Risk Subcommittee) have an active engagement in the tender for External Audit Services, approval of the annual Engagement Letter, review the financial accounts with the External Auditor and finally review their performance.

To assist directors with these processes, we have provided some documents that have been based on various books and material available, please click here to be taken to the page.

An effective external audit process required good and effective oversight by the Directors often through an engaged and active Board Audit (and Risk) Committee.

 

The missing issue: Ethics

The tragic suicide of the UK nurse who answered the 2DayFM radio show prank call has reverberated around the world.

As we have moved into the world of social media, we are now seeing a new level of abuse: witness the instant reaction of people hurling abuse at Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the two perpetrators of the prank.

The media has meanwhile raced to respond to the crisis; – maybe as an attempt to stall  moves by governments to reduce the media’s right to “self-regulation” and to shore up what they perceive as  the freedom of the press.

Over the last couple of days multiple journalists and commentators have expressed their opinions regarding both the prank call and its fallout. Continue reading

Social Media – Board Perspective

I have noticed an increase in the number of articles that provide information and guidance for Board Members on the use of social media (I admit this may partially reflect my own growing interest).  Some of the discussion has been on how to provide information about ourselves appropriately (and effectively) in the corporate social media space. Continue reading

Boards and Technology

There has been some blog and notes recently around the use of technology in the board room.  Whether to use iPads or other technology to manage and communicate board and committee papers.  Whilst this is a useful development for the efficiency of the board room, I think there are more fundamental issues in relation to technology for boards to consider.

I have had a number of conversations recently in the context of strategic issues that are facing boards and have been surprised that technology has not been on the list. Continue reading