Audit committees – Raising the bar on audit quality
January 10, 2013

The unexpected demise, or adverse change in circumstances, of a public corporation invariably puts both the audit committee and the external auditor under the micro-scope. The bottom line question is the quality of their work and the professional skepticism they displayed prior to the approval of the financial reports. It has been over ten years since the introduction of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which launched an era of tighter audit standards, regulation of audit firms, rules to ensure the independence of audit committees, and a rash of new responsibilities for the audit committee, including a requirement that the committee oversee the external auditor. However, ten years on, have things really changed for the better? In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis and a string of high profile corporate collapses, the issue of audit quality is again on the table. In response, the European Community has brought in a wave of new regulation, including mandatory audit firm rotation. North American regulators are considering the same path. The audit profession is also going through a period of intensive self-examination. What does it all mean for the responsibilities and workload of audit committees - and the costs of financial reporting?

This session of the Directors’ Series will focus on issues surrounding the quality of financial reporting and disclosure and the role of the audit committee in ensuring audit quality.

Panelists

  • Hugh Bolton – Chair of the audit committee, Teck Resources Limited and WestJet Airlines Ltd.
  • Benita Warmbold – Senior Vice-President & Chief Operations Officer, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Director, Canadian Public Accountability Board
  • Cameron McInnis – Chief Accountant, Ontario Securities Commission
  • Bob Kueppers – Senior Partner, Global Regulatory & Public Policy, Deloitte LLP
  • Don Wilkinson – Vice Chair, Deloitte

Handout

 


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