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Audit Committee Practices Report: Common Threads Across Audit Committees

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Audit committee oversight is an important job that just keeps getting more complex. Since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) came into play in 2002, audit committees have evolved and adapted to fulfill their unique and expanding role. Audit committees are charged with helping oversee financial reporting, audit processes, internal controls, ethics and compliance programs, and external and internal audit. Increasingly, such duties also include oversight of key risks, including cybersecurity and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting. Audit committees are being challenged by increased complexity in their core responsibilities, as well as scope creep across other areas within their organizations.

Effective oversight by strong, active, knowledgeable and independent audit committees significantly furthers the collective goal of providing high-quality, reliable financial information to investors.

Paul Munter, Acting Chief Accountant, Securities and Exchange Commission

Against this backdrop, audit committee members often want to understand what their peers are doing to address this complexity and if there are leading practices they can employ within their own organizations. To this end, we are pleased to provide you with the inaugural edition of the Audit Committee Practices Report, a collaborative effort between Deloitte’s Center for Board Effectiveness and the CAQ. The report is based on a survey of 246 audit committee members from predominantly large (greater than $700 million market cap), U.S.-based public companies. The survey inquired about three points of interest:

Areas of oversight

Areas of oversight

Key Risks

Key risks

AC Practices

Audit committee practices

This report provides information related to certain issues facing audit committees today and how peers may be responding.

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