Evolution of the Audit Committee – Part Five – Voluntary Disclosures in the News

Over the last two months we have done a series of blog posts about audit committee oversight and disclosure issues. One of the major topics under discussion within, among and about audit committees is what information should they disclose about their oversight of the audit, financial reporting and ICFR processes. Most observers agree that effective audit committee oversight is critical to success in these areas. And, many also believe that more information about how individual audit committees exercise this oversight will be valuable to investors and other stakeholders.

In our post on October 30 we reviewed the SEC’s Concept Release discussing possible incremental disclosures about this oversight. You can review it here:

seciblog.pli.edu/?p=462

Out in the real world it turns out that many companies are voluntarily making disclosures beyond those currently required by the SEC. On November 3, 2015 the Center for Audit Quality and Audit Analytics released their second “Audit Committee Transparency Barometer”. This “Barometer” is a survey of actual audit committee disclosures. Interestingly, this report shows that many companies are voluntarily going beyond required audit committee disclosures.

If you are not familiar with the CAQ you can read about it in our June 16, 2015 post at:

seciblog.pli.edu/?p=405

The press release about this second “Barometer” report and a link to the full report are at:

www.thecaq.org/newsroom/2015/11/03/second-annual-audit-committee-transparency-barometer-reveals-encouraging-disclosure-trends-for-public-companies-of-all-sizes

It makes for very interesting reading and provides valuable information in the search for “best practices” for audit committee disclosures. The report focuses on audit committee disclosures about external auditor oversight for companies in the S&P Composite 1500. As you read it you will see many companies voluntarily disclose information about topics ranging from issues considered in recommending the audit firm for appointment/reappointment to the audit committees role in selecting the engagement partner.

 

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome!

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