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Audit Committee Priorities for 2014

KPMG has published a list of Audit Committee priorities for 2014, highlighting issues that firm believes will be key for audit committees in the coming year.  These priorities include:

  • Staying focused on job #1: Financial accounting and reporting.
  • Monitoring key PCAOB proposals potentially impacting the external auditor's role.
  • Leveraging internal audit as a barometer of the company's financial health -- helping the audit committee understand the quality of financial controls, processes, and people.
  • Making sure the company's ethics and compliance programs are keeping up with new vulnerabilities to fraud and misconduct.
  • Understanding the company's significant tax risks and tax risk appetite; pay particular attention to the global "tax morality" and "tax transparency" debates, and assess the impact of tax on the company's brand.

KPMG’s publication also contains a list of broader governance matters for audit committees:

  • Understand how technology is continuing to transform the competitive landscape -- and assess whether the board's oversight processes enable directors to help lead the company forward.
  • Recognize that good risk management entails both defense and offense.
  • Set the tone and closely monitor leadership's commitment to that tone, and actively "listen to the conversation" below senior management and outside the corporate office.