19 June 2012
FEE (Federation des Experts-comptables Europeens - Federation of European Accountants) published a Discussion Paper on The Functioning of Audit Committees.
In 2010 and 2011, the European Commission took a number of initiatives to strengthen corporate governance and, in particular, audit committees. FEE generally supports the Commission's proposals, along with other proposed measures aimed at enhancing the role of the audit committee, and the FEE Discussion Paper aims at putting these initiatives into perspective.
Stimulating closer cooperation throughout the audit engagement, especially the exchange of high quality information between audit committees and the external auditor, will be of great benefit to the company and to the external auditor. To this extent, and considering that one or more members of an audit committee are often trained accountants, FEE is aiming at enlarging and widening the debate regarding the functioning of audit committees.
The objective of this Discussion Paper is to contribute to the debate regarding improvements to corporate governance for companies as well as to the discussions regarding audit policy in general. The Discussion Paper recommends various improvements in relation to establishment, composition, competences and responsibilities as well as reporting to and from the audit committee with the overall aim of improving the quality of financial information provided by companies.
The information included in the FEE Discussion Paper is based on a survey carried out among FEE Member Bodies during 2010 and 2011 (a full list of FEE Member Bodies is available on the FEE website). The total number of potential countries to respond was at the time 32 which included the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Isreal, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland. In total, contributions from 25 countries form part of the conclusions reflected in the Discussion Paper.
FEE invites stakeholders' comments on any aspect of the Discussion Paper and especially on the issues raised in the questions set out in the paper. Deadline for comments is 28 September 2012.
For details on how to comment and a copy of the Discussion Paper, please visit the FEE website at: http://www.fee.be/publications/default.asp?content_ref=1525&library_ref=4
A full version of the press release about the Discussion Paper can be viewed at: http://www.fee.be/news/default.asp?library_ref=2&content_ref=1527